The client, recently relocated from Chicago, wanted a very simple and traditional log cabin home on an open site encircled by a pond and the New Fork River. Through the design process, the log cabin concept evolved, resulting in a modern reinterpretation of an historic precedent.
The 3,700-square-foot residence is low-slung, keeping a modest profile appropriate to the rugged high plains site. The log cabin idea was reduced to two intersecting hand-hewn log walls, which sponsor three separate shed-roof volumes, forming outdoor spaces of distinctly different character and opening to the views. The circulation follows the crossed log walls and extends beyond the house as boardwalks to connect to the river and the landscape. The three sheds organize the house into guest rooms, great room, and master suite, and are clad in a combination of brushed cedar siding and oxidized steel. A screened porch extends from the house so as not to shade the interior, and allows outdoor use during the long summer mosquito season. Regional references are updated and refined with square-cut logs reinterpreting a nostalgic motif. The clients were thrilled with the evolution of a humble log cabin into a personal statement about their relationship to nature and the neighborhood.