Waterside Retreats: Lake House With Industrial Detail

Located on the shores of Lake Champlain in Shelbourne, Vt., this three-story home from Wagner Hodgson features stainless steel railings, glass panels and a concrete retaining wall. The result is a sophisticated take on the traditional lake house. 

Photo By: Westphalen Photography

Photo By: Westphalen Photography

Photo By: Westphalen Photography

Photo By: Westphalen Photography

Photo By: Westphalen Photography

Photo By: Westphalen Photography

Photo By: Westphalen Photography

Photo By: Westphalen Photography

Photo By: Westphalen Photography

Photo By: Westphalen Photography

Aerial View

This view shows the overall narrow project site and how it transitions from the entry to the lakeside.

Outdoor Living Space With Access to Lake

The tight dimensions of this site required that the entire lakefront be thought of as an outdoor space with everything in close proximity. The tight site actually led to a very comfortable scale for the outdoor space.

Lap Pool and Spa

Despite the tight dimension of the site, a small lap pool and spa were designed into the terrace. There is a waterfall feature at the end into the spa. Both pool and spa are covered by an automatic cover that helps keep the heat in. Due to the restrictions of redeveloping lakefront, you are not allowed to encroach any further than the previous building footprint with any structures. This means that the retaining walls and pool had to fit within the previous house footprint.

Outdoor Living Room

A board form concrete retaining wall transitions the site grade and creates a pocket facing the lake for an outdoor terrace. One way to extend the outdoor season here in Vermont is to tuck outdoor spaces into recessed pockets. In this case, the concrete retaining wall provides protection from the wind as well as a solar heat mass to make the terrace warmer than it normally would be.

Lakeside Terrace

An existing concrete wall and terrace were covered with a new Ipe deck and stainless steel cable rail.

Overlook of Lake Champlain

An existing concrete pier was used to hold up a new Ipe wood terrace providing dramatic views of Lake Champlain. Before, the pier held up a spiral staircase that lead down to the shore. The new owners wanted a more gradual path to the shore, so the pier was repurposed into an overlook.

Fire Pit at Lakefront Terrace

A wood burning fire pit was incorporated into the terrace. Two can lounge in the sunshine just over the lake.

Fire Pit and Terrace

A wood-burning fire pit takes the chill off of the cool summer evenings. The retaining wall provides a screen for logs to be stored behind in close proximity.

Lakeside Terrace at Night

The integration of house and site lends a treehouse feel to the project. Site lighting ties it all together.

Night View of Lakefront Terrace

The blue cast from the LED lighting accentuates the evening sunset over Lake Champlain. Existing birch and cedars were protected during construction to frame the views to the lake.