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USA & Canada

Eco-Luxe Cabin Design

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This cedar-clad Shoreland Overlook home by Murdough Design Architects raises the bar on eco-luxe cabin design. 

“Beyond the performance advantages, we select Western Red Cedar for most of our projects for its clean and quiet grain pattern and its warm, soft coloration.” Tom Murdough, AIA

Location: Squam Lake, New Hampshire
Photography: Clayton Boyd Photography

When building on a slope that leads down to renowned Squam Lake, minimizing your environmental impact is paramount. That’s because the pristine, clear waters are a nesting site for loons, eagles, and great blue herons. It’s also home to many fish species, including bass, pickerel, perch, trout, and salmon. And then there’s the surrounding forest, an intricate ecosystem in and of itself but also a crucial component to protecting the marine habitat below.

Blurring the Lines Between Structure and Site

Murdough Design Architects took this responsibility very seriously and let it guide every design decision for this weekend retreat. The result is a stunning vacation home that harmonizes with the wooded landscape while minimizing impact on the shoreline.

“The building feels like it is part of the site – it is both rooted and an outgrowth of its place,” explains lead architect, Tom Murdough. “The building volumes recede into the landscape and have a minimal presence from the lake. The massing and the rooflines follow the natural topography of the crescent-shape slope and are situated to take advantage of views and access to the landscape.

“As one moves through the home,” he continues, “spaces and views unfold, allowing the site’s natural features to reveal themselves through an architectural framework of linked vantage points and framing devices. This is most heightened at the entry breezeway and covered bridge, where these elements join the disparate architectural geometries of the adjacent buildings.”

Choosing Materials that Harmonize with the Environment

As well as an innovative building program, choice in materials played a major role in creating seamless connection between structure and site. With that in mind, Murdough opted to use naturally beautiful, sustainable Western Red Cedar extensively throughout.

“The building’s exterior is restrained and camouflaged in the wooded site with dark stained cedar siding favoring the shadows and glazing either disappearing or reflecting the surroundings,” says Murdough. “Inside, Western Red Cedar was used to create a warm and calm environment that intentionally highlights the natural landscape beyond.”

 

WRC Specifications

Grade: KD VG ‘A’ and Better

Size: 1×6 v-joint T&G
Fastening: Blind Nailed
Applied Finish: Semi-transparent stain on siding, transparent stain on paneling