Dezeen Magazine

A-Frame House

Strand Design creates Lake Placid A-Frame in northern Wisconsin

American firm Strand Design has created a pointy cabin wrapped in metal and wood that is intended to blend with its forested, lakefront site in Wisconsin.

The project, called Lake Placid A-Frame, is owned by a couple from Minneapolis who love outdoor activities and wanted a year-round retreat.

The distinctive cabin sits on a wooded shoreline along Lake Placid in Hayward, Wisconsin. The owners have friends with properties in the area.

An aerial view of A-Frame cabin in New York
Strand Design has completed an A-framed cabin in Wisconsin

The goal for the architects – Minneapolis-based Strand Design – was to create a modest-sized cabin that embraces the natural landscape.

"The footprint of the cabin was sited specifically to a lower elevation on the rolling property in order to minimise its visual impact and to feel more fully integrated with the surrounding woods," the architects said. 

The team conceived a 2,075-square-foot (193-square-metre) dwelling composed of an A-shaped volume with boxes protruding from its sides. The property also has a separate building that houses a garage and workshop.

An A-shaped cabin by Strand Design
The A-shaped cabin is wrapped in wood and metal

"Classic meets modern in this refreshing take on the vernacular Northwoods A-frame cabin," the team said.

Framed with glue-laminated timber, the home is clad in a mix of materials.

A cabin by Strand Design near Lake Placid
The studio wanted the cabin to blend into its lakeside surroundings

For the long sides of the A, the team used standing-seam bonderised steel in a light grey tone. Other walls are wrapped in corrugated steel panels and wooden lap siding, both coloured black.

The front door is set within an alcove covered in warm-toned timber.

The living room interior of A-Frame cabin
An open-plan kitchen and dining area is located on the ground floor

"Utilising a variety of steel panels, darkened clapboard and hints of bright natural cedar, this cabin blends seamlessly into its forested lakefront surroundings," the architects said.

Inside, the home feels both airy and cosy.

In the A-framed portion, the ground floor encompasses an open-plan kitchen, dining area and living room, along with a mudroom and mechanical space. The kitchen extends into a small box that protrudes beyond the triangular volume.

A Douglas fir staircase leads to a loft, where a bedroom and powder room are located.

The interior of A-Frame's kitchen by Strand Design
Other materials inside include polished concrete

In an adjoining box at ground level, the team placed another bedroom, a large closet and a bathroom. Up above is a rooftop terrace.

Interior finishes include yellow pine and polished concrete. In the kitchen, cabinets are made with beech and topped with granite. Much of the home's wooden decor was made by the client, who has a passion for woodworking.

Exposed beams were left visible and span the full height of the A-shaped building.

A bedroom at the top of a cabin
Warm-toned timber is used throughout the interior

Large windows and glazed doors enable the occupants to take in the ever-changing scenery. Outside, a pathway leads down to a fire pit and metal dock, where the owners can set off in their canoe.

Other A-framed buildings in North America include a 1960s dwelling in New Jersey that was converted into a cosy rentable cabin by designers Chad and Courtney Ludeman and a Quebec cottage by Jean Verville that has an all-black exterior and light-toned interior.

The photography is by Chad Holder Photography.

Project credits:

Architect: Strand Design
Design team: David McKay, David Strand

More images and plans

A-Frame cabin by Strand Design
Ground floor plan
A-Frame cabin by Strand Design
Loft and terrace floor plan
A Frame cabin by Strand Design
A-Frame by Strand Design