Panther Pond Camp
Photography: Trent Bell
Builder: Symonds Builders, Inc.
The property is an iconic maine lakeside lot; relatively small, south facing with an existing single story camp built in the 1950’s. The camp was tiny and dark, with obstructed views and poor access to the water. The owners of the camp are a young family who hoped to transform the structure into one which took advantage of the views of the lake, improved the daylighting of the house and afforded more social common areas as well as more private bedrooms.
After much deliberation, the decision was made to remove the existing camp and rebuild in its place. Due to the small lot size and proximity of the existing camp to the water, volume, square footage, and site coverage limits of the new structure would define the project. To make the most of the limited volume of the new building, many roof pitches were kept low and shallow, tethered to two taller, traditional gable forms. Inside, the structural roof beams and rafters were left exposed, to maximize headroom and the perception of openness in the rooms. On the water side of the camp, a large screened porch was added which serves as an open courtyard to the other rooms of the house. To keep the screened porch from obscuring the daylight to the rest of the house, the southern roof plane was sheathed almost completely in oversized glass panels, flooding the porch and adjacent living areas in sunlight.
On the uphill side of the lot, a small garage, home office and two bedroom guesthouse were built; this gave guests a quiet, secluded place to stay while visiting but also served as a privacy screen between the road and the main house. The garage was built with large sliding doors and screens on both ends so that it could double as a ping-pong or play space for a house full of children on dark and rainy days.
The visible structure of the camp and finishes throughout were carefully detailed and then painstakingly fitted and assembled by a skilled team of craftsmen, using pine logs, timbers and sheathing supplied by local mills and woodlots.