Fish Trap Lake Retreat

A family who had long vacationed on Fish Trap Lake in a simple rustic cabin, purchased a cinder block structure on a tight lot nearby to create more space for their growing family. With five adult children and many grandchildren, they needed four bedrooms with ample sleeping spaces for multiple family groups, yet didn’t want to build a huge lodge. The goal was cabin charm, nestled into the hills, as close to the water as possible. A variance was applied for and granted to rebuild the existing cabin a few feet further from the shore, while not destroying the natural bluff. Small scale rooms and generous windows put the living spaces close to the glass, creating a feeling of being within nature. A built-in bench with a table for ten overlooks the screened in porch on the side of the house, allowing the living room to be unobstructed on the lakeside. An efficient master bedroom suite along with a pantry and laundry completes the main level. Upstairs are three bedrooms, including a magical bunk-room and a bathroom, all organized around a central stair that brings you up towards serene views of the lake.

Project Location: Cushing, Minnesota

Project Type: New ConstructionRetreat HomeKitchenBathroomLiving Room

Project Team: Christine L. Albertsson, AIA, CID, NCARB, PartnerMark E. Tambornino, AIA, Partner

Photography: Corey Gaffer

Of Note

  • Interior siding in the pantry was salvaged from the original cabin
  • 4 of the 5 beds in the bunk-room have a window
  • The dark exterior allows the house to recess into the surrounding landscape


  • Star Tribune Magazine | February 2019
  • ASID Award - First Place | November 2018
  • RAVE Award - AIA Mpls/ St. Paul | October 2018
  • Custom Builder | September 2018