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The Red Cottage

Rehkamp Larson Architects, Inc

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dmadsen, hanley wood, llc

Project Name

The Red Cottage

Project Status



  • Jean Rehkamp Larson, AIA


Design Awards

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Project Description

This couple, looking forward to retirement, wanted a warm modern cabin set on their Northern Minnesota lake lot. Taking inspiration from the traditional red cottages found throughout Sweden, the couple wanted a cabin that would reflect their Nordic heritage. The couple has a knack for picking up second hand Danish furniture and household wares, and they imagined a space that would be in sync with their humble but stylish collection. They envisioned an energy efficient retreat with main level living for the two of them, a study for him to continue working out of the office, a sewing room for her, a bunk room for grandchildren, and a true screened porch to relax and enjoy the views of woods and water. Simple intersecting gables are supported by an exposed glulam structure, pairing a classic gabled exterior with an open modern interior. Structural insulated panels (SIP) were used for the roof and walls, creating a tight energy efficient shell. The house is built as a slab on grade, and the unadorned polished concrete floor has radiant heat to keep feet warm on cold winter days. The living room, dining room and kitchen sit under a basswood paneled vault, while the more private spaces sit below the open loft above. The red stained stair leads up to a lake view through a gable of glass, while the underside of the treads create bookshelves for the cozy reading nook beneath.
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