An esteemed graphic designer from Chicago has realized his dream of a fishing retreat on a secluded lake in Northern Wisconsin...

Clearwater Lake Retreat by Wheeler Kearns Architects

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From the architect: Located on a flat clearing within a 2.5 acre heavily wooded site sits a new single-story modernist structure, carefully positioned to maximize views and its connection with nature. Floor-to-ceiling glass spans between two heavy stone walls that anchor each end of the concise, rectilinear form. A shallow, butterfly-shaped roof hovers overhead, sloping upwards ever so slightly to accentuate the views out towards the lake and forest while also extending past the glass walls to create a covered porch on two sides.

Clearwater Lake Retreat by Wheeler Kearns Architects

Inside, spaces are at once functional and universal. The program includes a large communal space for cooking, living, and dining, two private bedrooms, and a central core volume that conceals a mechanical room, two bathrooms, and storage. All areas are heated by hydronic floor heat and radiant tubing in the three-foot thick masonry walls. A wood-burning fireplace is integrated into the living room's stone wall, providing a traditional rural focus and an extra heat source. In warmer months, the rooms are naturally ventilated and cooled, relying on operable windows and shade from the tall trees.

Clearwater Lake Retreat by Wheeler Kearns Architects

Accents of wood, stainless steel, and white painted walls and ceiling complement the simple palette of black metal frame windows, concrete floor, and horizontally stacked stones of varying shades of gray. Artificial illumination is limited to a small amount of recessed lighting in the living area and highlighting work surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom; small floor lamps light the bedrooms. 

Clearwater Lake Retreat by Wheeler Kearns Architects

Surrounded by a forest of maple, aspen, red oak and pine trees, light filters into the home through the expansive glass walls creating a year-round dappled sunbath. It’s a long-time vision come to fruition and a perfect escape to nature from a busy city life.

Clearwater Lake Retreat by Wheeler Kearns Architects

Architect: Wheeler Kearns Architects
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Year: 2022
Photography: Steve Hall

Clearwater Lake Retreat by Wheeler Kearns Architects

Clearwater Lake Retreat by Wheeler Kearns Architects

Clearwater Lake Retreat by Wheeler Kearns Architects

Clearwater Lake Retreat by Wheeler Kearns Architects

Clearwater Lake Retreat by Wheeler Kearns Architects

Clearwater Lake Retreat by Wheeler Kearns Architects

Clearwater Lake Retreat by Wheeler Kearns Architects

Clearwater Lake Retreat by Wheeler Kearns Architects

Clearwater Lake Retreat by Wheeler Kearns Architects

Clearwater Lake Retreat by Wheeler Kearns Architects

Clearwater Lake Retreat by Wheeler Kearns Architects

Clearwater Lake Retreat by Wheeler Kearns Architects

Clearwater Lake Retreat by Wheeler Kearns Architects

An esteemed graphic designer from Chicago has realized his dream of a fishing retreat on a secluded lake in Northern Wisconsin...

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