Building a getaway cabin is a lot like choosing a camping spot. You want a relatively protected space, easy access to fun, a killer view for the sunset, and a submarine-free zone. As the fifth-deepest lake in the U.S., Lake Pend Oreille has a glassy surface, consummate mountain views, and occasional submarine traffic, courtesy of the U.S. Navy. The subs don’t seem to bother anyone, especially at one rocky point where a family has built an overnight getaway.

The location on Picard Point is a prominent spot, loved by the local residents. This beauty and affection were the primary inspiration for keeping the home as low-profile as possible. In this case, communing with nature and the community was more than “skin deep.” Underneath the living, sedum-covered roof is a structure mimicking the veins of a maple leaf. The eaves shield a partial rock facade, with stones quarried from the site, and local artisan touches – like the osprey carved into the front door – are peppered throughout.

In a meta experiment for any architect, the very layout of the floor plan was intended to camouflage the house from looking like…well…a house. The building site on the point was limited by lack of land and code setbacks. When a surveyor defined a 700-sq. ft., 10-sided area in the overall shape of triangle, the floor plan was borne. The result is an open floor plan with natural segmentation and privacy.

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The lakeside getaway was designed by Jon Sayler, Architect.

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Photos courtesy Jon Sayler


Weekend Cabin isn’t necessarily about the weekend, or cabins. It’s about the longing for a sense of place, for shelter set in a landscape…for something that speaks to refuge and distance from the everyday. Nostalgic and wistful, it’s about how people create structure in ways to consider the earth and sky and their place in them. It’s not concerned with ownership or real estate, but what people build to fulfill their dreams of escape. The very time-shortened notion of “weekend” reminds that it’s a temporary respite.


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