Colman Woods, Williams Bay, Wisconsin
Our client’s passion for vintage boats–combined with a love for the environment–is the foundation of what Colman Woods has become. An existing, but neglected 40-acre wooded parcel is the setting. Overrun with invasive species, our clients, Charles and Dianna Colman, saw the immense potential and decided to invest in a woodland restoration to ensure the health of this land. Our team, along with the clients, hiked the land, finding the perfect site within the 40 acres.
Taking much pride in his boat collection, Charles wanted a place that he could showcase these works of art. The structure he sought would need to be appropriate in size, style, and technology, giving them ample room to entertain. Clean in lines as to not take away from the setting, nor the featured wooden vessels, architect Eric Halbur used a post and lintel building system to incorporate the structure into the serene environment and topography. Green building practices were something that the clients both felt strongly about. With this in mind, an open-loop Geothermal heating and cooling system is used throughout the structure and a planted, occupied green roof is accessible from the second-story office.
This 10,000-square-foot architectural home is impressive with every detail meticulously planned. The laminated wooden beams are designed to hide all mechanical and electrical connections and encapsulate the lighting fixtures. The concrete floors were poured with white cement and limestone aggregate to give a brighter overall look. The second kitchen was designed with caterers in mind, and theatrical lighting was used to display the boats in all their beauty.
Every angle from inside has a view out to the woods. Using three-panel sliding doors with screens, the entire front of the home can be opened to let fresh air in. The living area can be opened up to the showroom, making Charles’ prized collection part of the interior design. Each of these boats can be pulled into the showroom through two large NanaWalls that are sized to accommodate the vessels and their trailers.
The floating spiral staircase leads to a private lofted office, as well as to the lower walkout level where you’ll find a 1500-bottle glass-front wine cellar, a bar, a lounge area, a media room, a heritage room and an exercise room. Impressive on so many levels, Colman Woods has become the private sanctuary our clients hoped for.