On Madeline Island a writer’s retreat that doubles as a guest house deep in the woods is inspired by the island’s vernacular hipped-roof cottages. The second floor living space gives it a treehouse feel and a distant view of the lake to the south. Large windows bathe the space in natural light modulated by the deep roof overhangs. The steep-pitched roof creates a loft-like room that is both expansive, with the ceiling 17-feet high in the center, and intimate, with lower ceiling heights on the edges. The second-floor timber-frame structure cantilevers over the first floor aligned cardinal points. The bed nook is cozied under the eaves on the east. A window seat and refectory table create a space for socializing and eating in the south-facing bay with 12-foot-high windows. The balcony juts into the woods on the west. The bathroom faces north with a tall narrow window and cut-away roof frame a view of the trees. The first floor houses a workshop appropriately built of raw poured concrete. It too has an artistry: the canted walls emphasize the overhang of the cantilevered second floor.

Apart from the concrete, metal siding and roofing, tigerwood decks and stairs, and high-insulating SIPS panels, materials were locally sourced: oak post and beams and pine siding cut and milled on the island, salvaged Douglas fir rafters and salvaged brownstone originally quarried nearby.


1500 SF
Madeline Island, WI