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Construction of a one-of-a-kind home on Strawberry Lake in Hamburg Township turned into a neighborhood spectacle.
A 20-ton crane lifted huge hollow concrete slabs, like those found in parking lots, about a hundred feet into the air over neighbors' trees.
"We had neighbors bring out lawn chairs and watch to see what would happen," homeowner Brenda Vidovic said.
Her husband Al Vidovic built the unusual home out of mostly commercial materials, like concrete, glass and steel, with help from Okemos architect Jim Gibbs. It took more than two years to build on a narrow lot on Bob White Beach Boulevard fronting the lake.
The first and second floors were created from the large slabs and high-tension cable, including patios and balconies.
"Another unique thing, we don't have internal load-bearing walls, just two walls ... and load-bearing steel poles," Al Vidovic said. "It's like a house of cards."
Owners of a house built mostly out of concrete, glass and metal decorated their home with art that shows the softer side of hard things, such as a metal sunflower sculpture, shown Wednesday, May 15, 2019. (Photo: Scottie Davison for Livingston Daily)
There are windows everywhere you turn in the house. Most of them are floor-to-ceiling without curtains, which provide unimpeded views of the lake and outside environment.
Several aspects of the home were inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, including the use of solid wood cabinetry in the kitchen.
Solid walnut cabinetry breaks up the starkness of a home built out of commercial materials, like concrete and commercial windows, at this home on Strawberry Lake in Hamburg Township, seen Wednesday, May 15, 2019. (Photo: Scottie Davison for Livingston Daily)
"I wanted to bring in wood to break up the starkness of concrete and glass, to find a meld between starkness and warm wood," Al Vidovic said.
Florida Cyprus wood wraps around the home under the roof line to break up the starkness for the same reason, he said.
He said he selected sand-colored stucco for the home's exterior finish and a Michigan harbor blue-colored roof so the home would better blend into its surroundings, in a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired manner.
Sand-colored stucco walls, one painted blue like a lake, help a home on Strawberry Lake in Hamburg Township match its surrounding environment, Wednesday, May 15, 2019. (Photo: Scottie Davison for Livingston Daily)
"The blue of the lake was impregnated into the colors in the house," he said. "The floors are epoxy with a quartz aggregate over the concrete, which give it the green-blue color."
The counters in the kitchen and bathrooms are poured concrete with tapered edges that match tapered edges found on the concrete slabs that make up the floors and balconies.
The home is also filled with modern art and furniture. A Piet Mondrian-inspired acrylic wall hanging depicting colored squares that Al Vidovic made himself hangs in the stairwell.
A piece of acrylic art and etched glass windows in the stairwell of a home on Strawberry Lake in Hamburg Township are among many modern touches in the home, shown Wednesday, May 15, 2019. (Photo: Scottie Davison for Livingston Daily)
A metal sunflower sculpture on a side porch is visible inside the house through floor-to-ceiling windows. More sunflowers are etched into a sheet metal artwork in the dining room.
Hollow core pre-cast concrete slabs, commercial windows framed in aluminum and concrete floors coated in an epoxy containing quartz aggregate are a few unique features of a home on Strawberry Lake in Hamburg Township, seen Wednesday, May 15, 2019. (Photo: Scottie Davison for Livingston Daily)
After living in the home since construction was completed in 2003, the Vidovics will soon move. They are asking $1,050,000 for the home.
"It's going to be hard to leave. It was a labor of love, and when you build a house yourself you pull something of your own personality out," Al Vidovic said.
Have an idea for a Cool Space? Contact Livingston Daily reporter Jennifer Timar at 517-548-7148 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Facebook @Jennifer.Timar99 and Twitter @JenTimar99.
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