Winkelman Architecture

Far Cabin

Midcoast, Maine

Project Team: Joanna Shaw, Will Winkelman

Landscape Architect: Richardson Associates

Structural Engineer: Albert Putnam Associates

Builder: Cold Mountain Builders

Photography: Jeff Roberts

Naturalized guest cabin in the woods

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The Far Cabin embraces surrounding natural beauty with delicate respect for the site. Weathering beams spring from the rising ledge, gently carrying the cabin over boulders and mossy terrain. The building is designed to capture natural light patterns sweeping through the space, reflecting the playful relationship between nature and structure.

We walked the land to find a setting nestled into the trees with soft breezes from the shore. Respecting the site was our first priority. The Far Cabin is perched on a ledge, anchored to the site on one end and soaring southward to capture summer breezes within a treehouse-like screen porch. Where topography rises, a series of thoughtfully placed board formed concrete piers tether the building to the ledge below allowing the terrain to flow through. The approach by foot sweeps below the cantilevered porch and gently rises to a granite slab entry. The cabin’s walls jog below the simple geometry of a planted roof canopy to create outside sheltered spaces. At the entry, a collection of site harvested firewood is protected by the overhanging planted roof and underfoot granite stones and ferns sweep in below the shade. The plan carves out spaces for sleeping, reading, writing, preparing food, and bathing (both indoors and out). The 420sf interior space opens to a 150sf screen porch welcoming natural breezes. The interior space is filled with the ebb and flow of natural light and playful shadows as sunlight washes through the canopy of hemlock rafters. Our strides to be respectful of the site defined the types of utilities that would be available, including seasonal water. Although, for two winters now, the cabin has had the company of a full time resident. The concrete slab floor captures warmth from the wood burning stove on cool nights and holds a cozy temperature to the morning hours.