Sunset Cabin


Architectural, Residential


Mille Lacs Lake, MN

Share Project

Completed 2010

Remade Retreat

Team: Shelter

Photos: Kurt Gough

For several generations, a family ran a resort in northern Minnesota. The location provided visitors access to a beautiful lakeshore and ample fishing. When the resort became an unsupportable business model, a relative bought one of its small, wooden cabins to ensure that family members retained access to the property’s lovely sand beach and shallow swimming water.

As time passed, the cabin owners found themselves spending summer weekends with three children, a son-in-law and two grandchildren — all sharing a single bedroom, a three-quarter bath, and a combined kitchen and living room. Clearly, it was time to expand.

An attempt to add on to the original cabin was thwarted by zoning laws. So, Shelter designed a new, modern structure for the site. The result — now known to us and the owners as “Sunset Cabin” — features two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a great room and an attached storage garage (perfect for all the beach playthings). The retreat comfortably accommodates sizable family gatherings and is equipped to serve future generations.

The new cabin’s simple Scandinavian aesthetic harkens to the style of the original resort building — which, by the way, remains on the property as a charming guest cottage. A rooftop deck off the upstairs bedroom provides a divine vantage point from which to take in beautiful sunsets — a frequent sight at this family’s long-cherished gathering place.