For decades, the owner reimagined life at the lake, which she nicknamed ‘Ten Trees.’ A very small cabin was only for summer use on a narrow lot. After hiring McMonigal Architects in 1992, the owner began her vision. Adjacent parcels were acquired, trees preserved and planted, native plantings established, and the shoreline stabilized. Over the years, the architect provided overall guidance, and recently, the project started anew.

The design checks off all of the owner’s wishes for a year-round house including lake views from most rooms, an uncomplicated layout with shallow footprint bringing light and air into spaces from multiple sides, and everything on main floor needed to live in house. The wide basement stair has longer treads, shorter risers, and a handrail on each side for easier use. The dumbwaiter elevator allows food and other items to move to and from the basement with ease.

The super-insulated envelope uses Thermomass concrete basement walls with continuous insulation in the wall’s core and large high-performance windows give the feeling of being outside.

The exterior is clad in vertical composite siding which mimics birch bark, and horizontal navy steel siding, which is inspired by the lake and sky. Deep overhangs terminate at piers that are anchored to the ground. The large east deck provides space for big gatherings, while the private screen porch at the northwest corner allows for a quiet place for reflection.

A landscape architect designed extensive landscaping, another passion of the owner. The result is a nature-filled park-like setting.