Remodel a 1947 cabin on the North Shore of Lake Superior into a year round retreat. The client challenged the design team to address the modern day disconnect between building and place by forging multiple connections between the cabin and its broader context.
Located on a point with panoramic views of Lake Superior, the Tofte Cabin stands as an example of a sustainably designed cold climate cabin in a region with few such models. The cabin remodel took into account both short and long-term consequences of the project‚ construction and operation while connecting it closely to the wild beauty of the site. The modest footprint of the existing cabin was extended by a mere 3%, to 945 square feet. Energy needs for heating and appliances, calculated at 47% of a code compliant similar cabin, are met onsite by building integrated photovoltaics, a wind generator and a groundsource heat pump, using nonrenewable energy as backup. Framing lumber is from recycled sources or from FSC certified sustainable forests, while interior finishes are formaldehyde-free and low VOC. More than 95% of demolition and construction waste was either reused or recycled.