Coffou Cottage

Chicago Architects Brininstool + Lynch: Coffou Cottage

Coffou Cottage

Michigan City, Indiana


Coffou Cottage is situated on a two-acre parcel surrounded by protected meadows and forest in the northwestern corner of Indiana. The modern design of the 2,800-square-foot vacation house fuses with its rural environment. This cottage was designed with a simple structural system − a horizontal red cedar rain screen on the north and a wall of operable glass on the south. The open plan intensifies views to the south while also maximizing solar gain in the winter. A fireplace positioned in the front hallway divides the bedrooms from the living area, and a custom sofa set into the wall across from it creates a traditional fireplace inglenook. Red cedar establishes a material warmth and visual interest on the exterior. A board and batten-like pattern form an open screen, and tongue-and-groove siding establishes the solid form of the adjacent volume.

Project Type



2,800 square feet


Mulcahy Builders


C.E. Anderson & Associates, Structural


2010 AIA Chicago Distinguished Building Award – Citation of Merit
2010 Residential Architect Design Award – Custom House
2009 Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design – American Architecture Award
2008 Western Red Cedar Architectural Design Award – Honor Award


Lynch, Brad, David Brininstool, and Reed Kroloff. Brininstool Lynch: Making Architecture. New York: The Monacelli Press, 2019.
Bazer, Gina. “Modern House on the Prairie.” Chicago Magazine, May/June 2009.
Keegan, Edward. “Woodland Features.”  Azure, January/February 2009.
Wunderlich, Shaila. “A Modern Love Story.” Chicago Tribune, March 15, 2009.


Christopher Barrett, Hedrich Blessing