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October 28, 1989 - Image 70

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-10-28

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who subdivided the property in the late
1930s. The couple chose the area
because of the sense of privacy and
the natural setting. The wildlife
ducks, frogs, geese — frequent the
backyard pond fed by an artesian well.
The home was recently featured in
the national magazine Architecture,
and won an award from the state chap-
ter of the American Institute of
The Neumanns purchased the
property from a developer, who believ-
ed the site was unbuildable due to the
rugged terrain. However, Neumann, a
principal in the architectural firm of
Neumann Smith & Associates, was
familiar with the area because he had
designed the home next door.
One architectural challenge, in addi-
tion to the slant of the land, was adher-
ing to strict city codes and meeting the
average height requirement of 26 feet.
Because of the slope of the hill, he
could average the height, which
resulted in the 10-foot front and the
45-foot rear. He dug the home into the
site to
achieve the
"The other weird parts about the
shape of the house are from our com-
mon commitment to keep all of the
trees," says the architect. The house
literally dodges all the magnificent
scotch and white pine trees on the
The exterior of this 5,100-square foot
home looks like an oceanliner in the
midst of a forest. The voluminous,
three-dimensional home is actually two
freestanding boxes connected by an
enclosed passageway. The south box
is the garage. The longer box contains
two sections: kitchen, laundry room,
bathrooms and stairs in one area; and
living room, dining room, family room, Two views of the dining room show
studio and bedrooms in the other part. the multi-level, multi-windowed
There is a front courtyard with a small interior. The modern light fixture
reservoir and fountain before entering deliberately displays its wiring. The
the home.
glass top of the table is etched with
The artist-and-architect team chose horizontal lines. The chairs are in
horizontal lines to contrast with the ver- pairs, with arms attached. The tall
tical trees. This theme is evident in the Biedermeier-style wall unit has
exterior and the interior of the home, contrasting colored wood to
and in the furniture and the windows. emphasize its horizontal lines.
The white clapboard exterior of
horizontal redwood boards blends in-
to the setting. The 300 or more win-
dows are all either square or rec-
tangular, in keeping with the horizontal
images. Even the coffee tables are ac-
cented with horizontal lines, while the



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