Lake Erie Residence

Project Location

Strongville, OH



Case Study: Lake Erie Residence

Architects at the Arcus Group know horses well, with one of the nation's leading equestrian building practices. Yet they also intimately know the weather swings that can unleash chilly winds and wind-driven rain in northern Ohio, especially along the shores of Lake Erie.

“That’s why we gravitate toward solutions like NanaWall,” says architect David Maddux, founding principal and treasurer of the firm. “And in many of the projects, such as our houses but also in our hotel work, we use indoor-outdoor environments even on the lake, where you want to capitalize on those few nice days we have during the year.”

Yet with the quickly changing microclimates and the waves of insects in the warmer months, “You have to mitigate these issues and the two ideas of enclosing the spaces and opening them to nature,” Maddux explains.

Creating a Three-Season Room

That was the case for a planned “three-season room” for a renovated house on a lakeside site in Rocky River, Ohio. The open-air porch was designed to maximize views of the lake, yet the tightly sealed operable glass walls keep the interior warm and draft-free in the winter. In the summer, NanaScreen protects against mosquitoes and moths. So now they have a “four-season room” instead.

Maddux designed a slate floor that extends out to a landscaped patio, creating visual continuity from the room’s arched ceiling with wood trim flourishes to the garden and seating areas outside. With the three walls open, it feels more like a gazebo than a sunroom – though it serves as both.

“Researching products, I was drawn to NanaWall's German engineering and construction. Our goal was a three-season room, and we achieved an airtight, four-season room.”

Arcus Group specified the NanaWall WA67 Aluminum Clad Wood Folding System based on smooth operation, aesthetics, and performance. The client was also excited about the high-quality German engineering. “He’s German himself, and he really appreciated the quality,” says Maddux.

The firm knew the client from previous work, and recommended the NanaWall WA67. “It was a beautiful house but it was closed up to the lake views,” Maddux recalls. “They suggested a screened porch, but we contended that the room needed to be occupied more of the year than just summer. And if we had screens, that would make it more of a three-season space.”

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