House on the Pond by River Architects

House on the Pond is a project designed by River Architects. The clients needed to modify an existing log cabin in a wetlands buffer zone to accommodate a larger entry vestibule, new kitchen, primary suite, and a finished basement. In response to the clients’ desire for a deep energy-retrofit, River Architects designed the new wing to meet Passive House standards. Photography by Brad Dickson.


In response to the clients’ program, the existing 1-story southern wing was removed and replaced with a 2-story addition. To visually articulate the addition, we created a rectangular box with an angled roof that orients the view toward the property’s pond. The 2nd-floor addition is expressed as if a light box were inserted in a dark box, amplifying natural light.

We provided an ample room at the entry vestibule where the family can unload outdoor gear and hide it away it in a large, walk-in-closet that is immediately next to the vestibule. The existing kitchen was replaced with a new, enlarged kitchen in the same location, but with a new orientation toward the living room and the back patio, where barbeques and open-air gatherings would take place. The pantry and the laundry room, with a discreet door to the bathroom, were located immediately west of the kitchen. A home-office is above the vestibule.

We arranged the 2nd-floor addition to include an outdoor deck, accessed from the primary suite and the home office. This became the perfect place for morning yoga, work-from-home coffee breaks, and quiet weekend breakfasts.

The client’s request to maximize the opening between the kitchen and the living room resulted in a dramatic gable-shaped steel beam that framed the internal views from those rooms.

Domicilist Interiors selected the fixtures and finishes, reflecting the warm combination of gold, off-white, and black.

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