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Sugar Lake



Annandale, MN

A new cabin on this property overlooking Sugar Lake near Annandale, Minnesota, was built in place of an old cabin. The existing cabin was in desperate need of some major maintenance and updating, however due to a number of issues and problems, it seemed like a compelling case for a total rebuild. Therefore, to design a new cabin, a number of important considerations had to be made. Most importantly, the cabin orientation to the lake. To take advantage of the best views, the original cabin was sited diagonally with respect to its lot. However, as the result parts of the cabin was non-conforming! Meaning, it was intruding into the lot setbacks, violating the local zoning requirements. To address this concern and to maintain the desired sights and views of the lake, the architect approached the problem by introducing a system of layers at the exterior walls, to expose the views, seamlessly to the cabin's interior.

This approach was the basis for the design concept and the exterior architecture. The open floor plan, extended the views throughout the interior spaces and provided ample natural lighting by utilizing a number of windows, located strategically. Another concern with the old cabin was about flooding and water intrusion. The architect observed the existing grades and by elevating the new cabin and proper grading around the new cabin, not only solved the drainage issue, he introduced the opportunity for daylight windows in the new basement. The new windows also provided the means of egress and addition living space, as the result. 

The homeowners were also concerned about the afternoon sun and how the old Maple tree which had to be removed earlier provide much needed shade during the afternoon. The design addressed that issue by adopting deeper eaves and overhang around the perimeter, including the gable ends and utilizing roof eyebrows, as architectural elements.

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