About Real Cedar
The same family has owned this upstate New York property for four generations. It’s a stunning, 5-acre site defined by two existing boathouses, a tree-lined carriage road, and a vintage waterfront cabin. They would never want to change the character of their beloved vacation compound, but something had to be done about the main residence, a dilapidated and structurally unsound building.
Enter architect Brian J. Mac. His award-winning, Vermont-based firm was commissioned to design a replacement vacation home, one that could accommodate two adult brothers and their respective families. The result is a very symmetrical layout which concisely reflects two separate living entities flanking a shared common eating, living and cooking space. And in keeping with the spirit of the property’s heritage structures, the overall essence of this project was inspired by the great camps of the Adirondacks. But done so with a fresh, minimalist approach to design.
“Those camps were saturated with heavy log and wood detailing from the natural environment,” explains Mac. “We wanted to streamline that craft into a contemporary language using a material that could give us a similar dynamic and relationship to the landscape. Western Red Cedar grading and finishing gave us the flexibility to stay within the same species of wood and accomplish our overall aesthetic.”
Indeed, Mac makes beautiful use of Western Red Cedar throughout the entire home. Inside, the naturally stained cedar slats give depth to the architecture and create a dynamic character, as light continuously moves across the detailing. The dark cedar façade, meanwhile, reflects a tangible element of nature, providing that connection to the land, which the homeowners were looking to attain.
“Western Red Cedar holds a stain very well,” says Mac. “And the exterior black stain was an important tone in our pursuit of blending the architecture into the landscape and creating a strong contrast to the inside’s natural finish.”
GRADE: KD ‘A’ & Better
FASTENING: Stainless steel ring shank nails
APPLIED FINISH: Interior: clear finish, Exterior: black solid body stain