salmela architect, duluth, minn.

most of the cabins around this summer residence run parallel to the shoreline and sit as close to the water as possible. Asked to design a replacement for a cabin that had burned down, David Salmela proposed something a little more interesting. By positioning the house perpendicular to the water, he was able to create east and west terraces, tripling the view corridors. “The need for two outdoor rooms is synonymous with summer living,” he says. “You want to be able to have breakfast outside in the sun, and in the evening you want to be on the west side of the house.”

The judges applauded the way the house engages the whole site. Slate floors blend with the outdoor bluestone surfaces. On the exterior, clean detailing and traditional materials simplify the mass. The monolithic white masonry “book-ends” make the buildings appear to float in a field of native grasses.

principal in charge / project architect: David Salmela, FAIA, Salmela Architect
general contractor: John Majka, Majka Construction, Nisswa, Minn.
landscape architect: Shane Coen, Coen + Partners, Minneapolis.
interior designer: Tia Salmela Keobounpheng, Silvercocoon, Minneapolis
project size: 2,280 square feet
site size: 0.5 acre
construction cost: $210 per square foot
photographer: Peter Bastianelli Kerze