1.2 Acre Estate Neighboring Williams Creek
Ascend a tree-lined, bended drive above the naturally formed ravines of neighboring William’s Creek, to discover a stunning home which perfectly complements the landscape: anschließen, is a privately-gated, 1.2 acre estate, residing east of Spring Mill Road in north central Indianapolis. Pronounced [an-schlee-sen], the deutsch word, meaning “connected”, was appropriated here to elicit the feeling of emotional ties to the natural surroundings, the physical bridging of the main and guest residence, and a quick compliment to the architect’s German heritage.
Designed in the contemporary style of the pacific northwest, using a palette of warm woods, natural stone, concrete and black steel accents, both structures are recessed back into two heavily forested ridges, connected via a steel bridge built across a deep ravine. Visitors arriving to the motor court are greeted by a 30′ tall, natural stone covered wall, bisecting the main body of the house. Perpendicular to this feature wall, a series of steel stairways and concrete landings provide direction up to a 6′ wide pivot door, framed by a 28′ tall, 9′ wide expanse of steel and glass, dominating the formal entrance. The split-level entryway, now intriguingly asks the guest to choose: ascend to the 2nd floor or descend to the main level.
At 2,641sft., the upper level is the epitome of open plan living. Massive, exposed steel beams, highlighted by a butterfly roof, effortlessly connect the eat-in chef’s kitchen, an island-centered entertainment space, an expansive great room featuring floor to ceiling glazing with a modern pass-through fireplace, and a more formal dining area with access to an exterior deck anchored by the natural-stone tower. From the center of the entertainment space, a set of 18′ panel doors slide open to enjoy an outdoor kitchen and dining space, along with the views of the valley below. Completing the upper level, there is a walk-in pantry with dumbwaiter access from the garage, a half bathroom, a second laundry room, and 2 additional bedrooms, each with a designated walk-in closet and private en-suite.
Choosing the down stairwell, or by gaining access through the steel and glass entryway located in the 2 car garage, the main level specs an additional 2,560sft., the majority of which is radiant-heated, polished concrete. This level features a mudroom, 2 additional half bathrooms, a large open family space that is connected with a home theater area, an L-shaped indoor planter located underneath the main stairwell landing, and a full separate office with a view-through salt water aquarium, and slider access to the outdoor patio space. A larger set of slider doors open to a outdoor reflection pool which features a wall water-feature, a floating pathway, and a spiral staircase that leads up to the outdoor kitchen deck above. There is also a glass and steel-framed home gym with sliding door access to the lower level patio space. To one side of the sunken patio is the tower, with a built-in fireplace and a wall-mounted TV for entertainment, on the other side is a plunge pool with an attached wading pool featuring an infinity edge.
The main level also provides access via hallway, to an additional laundry, and to the extensive master suite wing. In addition to the master bedroom, which features floor to ceiling glass and a pass-through fire place, there is an expansive master bathroom with a sunken tub, folding doors leading to a private outdoor deck area, a separate shower, twin floating vanities, water closet and a mini kitchen with a counter-height refrigerator, sink, microwave and coffee center. On the adjoining side of the master bedroom lies a private living room, also with floor to ceiling glass, fireplace and a library.
The Guest Residence, located on the north side of the ravine, is recessed back into an elevated ridge and accessed via the bridge and a series of steel / stone stairs and landings that wind up the hill, through several mature trees, to an outdoor deck. The structure is divided into 3 distinct public and private spaces. The private guest space features a great room, full kitchen, master bedroom and en-suite. Raise the garage door over the 2-sided counter, and the kitchen opens up to the public space via a pass-through for serving guests while entertaining. This elevated entertainment space also serves as an overlook to the open garage space below. An auto-lift can be raised to display and view one of the owner’s cars from his (or hers) collection. This party space has multiple sliding doors which serve to open up the entire area to a wraparound, cantilevered deck, further highlighting the views of the valley below. The lower garage also features 2 ½ bays with a washing station, the lift, a workshop, mechanical room, storage area, and an additional half bathroom.
About Tom Kretz, Designer
Tom grew up on the family farm settled (1852) in the small town of Cedar Lake, Indiana. He always gravitated towards art and drafting in high-school, but it was a field trip to Chicago that truly inspired his fascination with architecture. He broke with family tradition and spent high school summers working as an artist for a graphics company prior to attended Ball State University for the first year of their architecture program.
Financial difficulty led to a transitional job with an upstart graphics firm that had been founded by two salesmen, also from his previous employer. This “short-term” position turned into a 30 year career as their Production Art Manager. Over the years, Tom discovered that even though the design capabilities were limited, the CAD systems he had procured for cutting large-format graphics could be adapted for drawing scaled floor-plans. Just a hobby at this point, Tom spent his downtime (and occasionally work time) searching for challenging properties for sale, and then designing spec-houses for them.
Tom finally got his chance to prove himself in 2002 after purchasing a 1 acre, hill-side lot. After about a year of design work, he took his CAD floor-plans to a local architect, who was able to download and convert them to blueprinted construction drawings. Another year an a half of construction produced a 5,700 sq ft, Contemporary Prairie, constructed 75 feet up off the main road, into the side of a 19 degree slope. He had successfully designed and built his first residence. “I loved every minute of it.”
Fast forward to July, 2017. Early retirement at 49, and a new girlfriend met on a property scouting trip to Lake Tahoe, brought Tom to Indianapolis where her home was located. He had long been researching architecture software, looking for that perfect blend of technical features, professional work-product appearance, and a manageable learning curve. So in August, he purchased Chief Architect – X9, as a 50th birthday present to himself. After reading through the reference manual, and watching several of the online training videos, my first “trial” project was a remodel/addition to his fiancee’s home, a property purchased through an estate sale. Having the ability to prove spacial requirements in real-time, and render conceptual ideas to others from a 2D environment is absolutely brilliant. BrückenHaus (Bridge-House, in German) is a complicated structure that features bridges, cantilevers, and many custom design elements, and is still in the early stages of development.
The second property purchased was a hidden, 1.2 acre, multi-level lot on Spring Mill Road, overlooking a deep ravine that once contained an ancient Williams Creek. The topography was more challenging, but offered the opportunity for extremely exciting architectural features. Once the topography survey was complete, the process of converting my conceptual sketches to digital reality began, and several months later, anschlieBen (connected, in German) was complete.
About Homes by Design, Custom Home Builder
Brad Bowman decided that he wanted to create truly custom homes in Central Indiana and put the power of design into the hands of the homeowner. In 1999, Homes by Design was born. Utilizing over 40 years of combined home building experience, Brad and his staff have the expertise to make the home that you have always dreamed of… a reality.
“We use some of the best people in the industry to ensure that the latest building techniques are incorporated, yet retain that “Old World Craftsmanship”.” It comes down to the details. Rich finishes and attention to the smallest of details, ensures that HBD homes are built with a level of quality usually reserved for fine furniture.
Just because “it’s the way it’s always been done”, doesn’t mean that HBD will not look for a better technique or material. HBD constantly searches for new ways to make your home a better and safer place to live. HBD’s goal is to continually advance the art of home building to new levels. This was showcased when HBD was the Builder of the 2008 and 2019 Dream Homes.
“We want to be a true partner in the creation of your new home. From the design to the final walk-through and beyond, we will stand by your side.”
About Paul Scherrer, Real Estate Agent
Paul Scherrer started helping good people buy and sell homes in LA at a time when a monkey could sell real estate. “No offense to our primate relatives, but it wasn’t hard”, says Paul, “just put the listing in the MLS and it sold! Having gone through 2009, 2010, 2011… now that’s a market where skills are honed, professionals are made!” Paul considers himself blessed to work in a career that he loves. “I work a lot of evenings and weekends, but its cool… my clients are my friends.”
Recently, Paul has been midlife-crisis-ing with a new found hobby, kiteboarding. “Crazy how much joy I can take from something I am still so bad at! The learning curve is steep, but I’m getting better and better…”. Paul’s greatest joy is spending time with Nicole and their two kids, Eva and Sarah.
For more information about anschließen contact Paul.