The Briarcliff Residence is situated in the historic village of Franklin, Michigan. Influenced by the community’s collection of original-condition structures, we sought to create a series of simple, gabled, barn-like structures tying the house to the local context, while the exteriors reflect a modern approach. The clients sought a home with clearly separated public areas for entertaining and private areas for living. In a fitting marriage between exterior form and interior function, the primary functions of the interior are separated into four distinct “barn” volumes. The primary volume runs side-to-side across the property and contains an uninterrupted length of public areas for entertaining (living, dining, and kitchen) with tall ceilings, exposed steel bents, expansive views to the rear yard, and a solid wall of built-in millwork to the front yard. The home is sited on a 3.5 acre park-like parcel with rolling topography that overlooks wetlands to the rear. One hundred and ten trees grouped in clusters create dense wooded areas, high canopied “grottos”, and large sun-bathed voids. From the street, the combination of clustered trees and grass knolls obscures the home and creates curated views. The tallest knoll just in front of the house is “sliced” vertically in half by one inch corten steel, creating a “submerged” motor court for guests’ cars. Each of the four barn structures has a gable roofline. To accentuate the height and stateliness of the gable end, narrow cedar planks are laid up vertically with open joints between planks. Cedar is often used locally as shakes and lap siding, but its application here as a self-ventilating façade is unique and energy-efficient. At the structures’ corners, the cedar planks meet the cement fibre panel at a uniquely detailed “eyebrow” which serves to terminate both materials and create a delicate shadow line on the gable end.