Architect: Bill Yudchitz, AIA, and
Daniel Yudchitz, AIA
Contractor: Revelations Architects/Builders
Sited on a hillside overlooking Lake Superior, this project is an experiment in contemporary elemental shelter. Its geometric forms and functionality commune with the natural setting, showing deference in a small footprint, use ofutilitarian and economical construction materials, and ingenious versatility. The wood framed box – a sheltered container for living – is clad in black metal that floats above the landscape. When in use, two twelve-foot doors open to provide a protected porch entry and reveal a two-story glass wall. A shower screen supports a sand-filtered water cistern for the outdoor shower. The interior is organized into three vertical zones. The lower level is a multi-functional space that can be reconfigured for different uses. A series of built-in furniture elements include folding wooden chairs stored on wall hooks, a toilet and wash basin as well as a table and bed that fold out from the walls as needed. A ladder along the wall leads up to a sleeping loft with windows to the north and south. A second ladder allows access from the loft to a rooftop observation “nest.” Simple strategies, like lighting provided by solar lanterns, keep the building "off the grid." A dry-flush toilet and water jug eliminate the need for plumbing. The innovative shelter facilitates enjoying nature while respecting it.
Jury Comment: "When we talk about what architects have to offer the general public, it’s this incredibly resourceful and efficient use of space. The architects did a lot with a little. This project is about how much you can pack in to such a small footprint. The lightness of the footprint, from both a sustainability stand point and how it touches the ground, implies a temporary insertion. It’s a smart design. You open it up and everything inside is dual purpose. There is an appropriateness and consistency in the material and detail choices. We applaud the idea – especially some of the furnishings and multipurpose design."
Photos: Design Team and Dan Hoffman