New Cabin, Up North

A new cabin in place of the old one, on this property overlooking Lower Whitefish Chain Lake near Brainerd Minnesota, was built. the old cabin was in desperate need of some major maintenance and updating. Amongst a few were a new roof, siding/paint and new windows. In addition there was the need to remodel and update the only bathroom and a second bathroom and more sleeping space. For the past several decades the old cabin had been remodeled and added-on to a number of times, and the end result was hardly a cohesive design statement or functionally efficient use of space. Considering all that, and the cost and compromises associated with remodeling, it became apparent that rebuilding was the logical alternative.

Once the budget goals for the new cabin were set and general architectural style was discussed, the design program and spatial requirements were planned around a 1.5 story concept. Through the use of engineered trusses, the architect designed an efficient and cost effective building system to accommodate an open floor plan design on the main floor without any interior bearing systems was accomplished. This system allowed the second floor bedrooms of the new cabin to be tucked within the roof truss system. The common spaces, including the screened in porch, were planned along the view access to include 8’ high expanse of glass to invite the outdoors and panoramic view of the lake inside. A wrap around front porch provides great sense of arrival and character as well as connecting and sheltering the new cabin’s access points. The main floor master suite with direct access to the outside was also part of the design program.

The winding stair to the second floor with the skylight above which brought natural light into the interior of the cabin, created a sense of space and drama as you enter the front foyer of the new cabin. The two bedrooms above were carefully designed to accommodate the children while built-in spaces for bunk beds for additional sleeping arrangement were included in the design of the rooms. The two rooms at the second floor share a full bath. Additional space for those occasions when lot of guests were spending time at the new cabin and sleeping space for those special occasions was created in the basement.

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