MODERN CABIN, New Designs For An American Icon
By Michelle Kodis
Gibbs Smith, Publishers, 2007

Open Kitchen Design By Matthew Ackerman, LEED AIA of Catalyst Architecture Shows Exposed Structure and Track Lighting
Despite the intricacy of the roof form, Ackerman was able to bring the budget in at about $72 per square foot, a more-than-reasonable price for a building that moves far beyond the definition of a conventional cabin in the woods.

The house opens to its setting through commercial- sized sliding glass doors that provide easy access to the 450-square- foot covered wraparound deck and the lake beyond.  The region's dramatic weather fluctuations– scorching in the summer, freezing in the winter– made the task of of adequate ventilation and efficient heating key aspects of the design.  Ackerman extended the roof overhangs to let in just the right amount of sunshine and installed an electrical skylight that vents hot air through the roof– crucial in the summer.  When temperatures drop, a double-sided wood-burning fireplace, positioned as a central element in the room, heats the entire space.  The fireplace divides the the living/dining area and the bedroom, which is located behind a half-wall that screens the bed from the main space without blocking the views or interfering with the natural light that pours into the cabin.

In addition to the cedar used on the building, Ackerman used finish-grade plywood for the kitchen countertops and tongue-and-groove pine for the ceiling and floors, materials that give the interior the rustic but minimalist look the owners wanted.
"The Lily Pad's styling is contemporary and welcoming." Ackerman says. "It reflects the mood of the site itself– that of quiet warmth.  And even inside the structure, you almost feel as if you're camping out."
Ceiling design by Matthew Ackerman, LEED AIA of Catalyst Architecture. An electronically operated skylight adds ambient light and vents heat during the summer

Above: The owners requested a simple kitchen with open shelving to help keep the space the light and airy.  The cabinets are countertops were crafted from finish-grade stained plywood with a polyurethane coating. Photo by Matthew Ackerman. Right: The complexity of the roof structure is visible inside the cabin.  An untreated telephone pole became the building's key structural element–
and it cost just $125.
Photo by Matthew Ackerman.

Right: Finding a place for everything is important in a small space.  Here, an opening in the half-wall became the perfect place for built-in shelving.  Photo by Matthew Ackerman.

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