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Whitefish Lake Poolhouse

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Project Name

Whitefish Lake Poolhouse

Project Status


Year Completed



4,000 sq. feet

Construction Cost



  • Interior Designer: Susie Hoffmann





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Project Description

Builder's Choice and Custom Home Awards Finalist

This curious program consisted of a 75' single lane lap pool, a Japanese soaking tub, a changing and shower area, an exercise room, and to add some contrast, a fine art gallery. A small collection of buildings sited randomly along the steep hillside was envisioned, nestling themselves into the contours where appropriate, but also boldly contrasting the grades by extending portions of the building out over the steep slope in locations of surprise and delight. The lengthy lap pool, it was decided, would be the showcase element that would contradict the site's natural contours, manifested in a long glassy extrusion that floats out and over the hillside.

While the client was not interested in pursuing LEED for the project, the building does have sustainable mechanical systems in place: The primary HVAC systems are water source heat pumps that utilize the water of nearby Whitefish Lake as their source of heat addition and heat rejection. Waste energy recovered from dehumidification is used for pool and interior space heating. Radiant floor heating is incorporated throughout the facility. A direct-digital controls system was provided for automated control and monitoring of the HVAC systems and management of HVAC energy consumption. Motorized shades were provided for solar control and to reduce heat transmission.

There are two approaches to the building. The guest entry begins well down the hillside, providing a compact yet pleasingly lush and welcoming stone pathway. The more commonly used "hidden pathway" leads from the owner's main residence through the trees to a private back door entry on the lowest level. Situated in a more private, introspective location within the building, the Japanese Tub opens widely to the meticulously sculpted landscape, blurring the lines between the natural and built environments. The Exercise Room resides alone up a short flight of stairs within steps of a panoramic rooftop garden.

The flat roof portions of the building are designed as green roofs, and double as delightful outdoor living spaces in the summer months, allowing the owner to relax and take in the down-slope view of Whitefish Lake after a few laps in the pool.
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