Big Sand Lake Retreat

This lakeside cabin complex located in Northern Minnesota was designed for two families who had spent summers on this lake for generations. Their shared respect for the tradition of modest fishing retreats on this lake formed the basis of the design challenge: how to build something new that did not stand out amongst the small-scale original retreats on the lake. The program was divided into three small scaled, dark colored buildings, meant to blend into the environment as inconspicuously as possible.

The main house was designed to be as spatially efficient as possible with maximum functionality and direct connection to the outdoors. All interior materials were selected to be sustainable and renewable, with an emphasis placed on indoor air quality. The garage/recreation cabin is intended to be used primarily as a bar and hang out space. The small guest cottage has a living space, two bedrooms, bathroom and an outdoor shower.

Project Location: Park Rapids, Minnesota

Project Type: New ConstructionRetreat HomeOutbuildingKitchenBathroomLiving Room

Project Team: Christine L. Albertsson, AIA, CID, NCARB, PartnerTammy Angaran, AIA LEED GAAbigail Merlis, Assoc. AIA

Photography: Corey Gaffer

Interior Design Consultant: Lynne Boyer

Of Note

  • Very few trees were removed and no changes were made to the existing shoreline.
  • A combination of burned wood and painted fiber cement was used for the siding.
  • The roofs are slate and metal while the windows are clad with a custom green color to blend with the pine branches.