Can a house personify a feeling? With a clever use of upcycled materials and large open spaces that flow to the outdoors, this rustic retreat gives us all the relaxation vibes.
Nestled in southwestern Wisconsin’s Driftless Area of sweeping farmland and river valley, this vacation home is a true getaway from the city.
Minnesota has a strong cabin culture and Rehkamp Larson Architects has designed more than its share of this building type over the years. Timber construction sets a rural tone, but here it is hardly a cabin cliché. The exterior siding—a “find” by the owner—was salvaged from interstate sound barriers in Chicago
Corten steel wrapped around the base of the house will change to a rusty patina as it weathers. The garage with owners’ suite above has a mono-pitch roof that gives the house a fresh, modern feeling while also suggesting a shed. That is one of the most interesting parts of the house: it feels like it belongs in the place, and its materials will look better with age.
In addition to bringing a modern vibe, “the Corten steel needs no maintenance, and brings a rich red color to the architecture,” says architect Mark Lawson. “Durable metal and glass garage doors allow light to reach the back of the garage, where the outdoorsy owners keep their bikes and cross-country ski equipment. We love the way we can give a glow to the exterior when the garage lights are on.”
The Modern Steel garage door is a great option for the climate because it has Intellicore polyurethane insulated panels and tempered insulated glass. Frosted glass lets in light without compromising privacy.
A smaller, custom size version of the same model is used for easy access to the storage area on the back of the house.
Photos by Scott Amundson