Pleated House by Johnsen Schmaling Architects

Located within a lush forest in Door County, Wisconsin, USA, Pleated House is a 1,700-sqft (158-sqm) home, clad in charred cedar siding. Designed by Johnsen Schmaling Architects for a graphic designer and her husband, the house was completed in 2015.

The building’s restrained exterior material palette is limited to charred cedar siding from Northern Wisconsin, its textured, somber blackness complemented by varnished clear cedar, dark-anodized aluminum, and glass. Echoing the visual depth and surface oscillations of bark covering the trunks of trees, the charred wood boards were installed over furring strips of varying depths to form a gently folding, undulating building skin, not unlike a pleated curtain – a meandering and highly faceted veil that wraps the house and replaces what could have been a conventional, sharply defined perimeter with a more ambiguous boundary, one that softens the building’s rigorous geometry and moderates the transition from artificial construct to natural context.

— Johnsen Schmaling Architects

Drawings and Models:


Photographs by Johnsen Schmaling Architects
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