Building memories on Wequaquet Lake
About 100 years ago, a family built several cottages in the neighborhood along Wequaquet Lake for use as campsites. For the last 40-plus years, Eric’s family—originally from Germany—has summered in the cottage next door to his and Simone’s house. “It was always nice for the kids growing up to have their grandparents right there, especially grandparents they don’t see so often because they live so far away,” Simone says.
Like Eric, Haig also grew up on a lake—in his case at his grandparents’ cottage in Ontario, Canada. In designing Eric and Simone’s new house, Haig says he pulled from his childhood memories to achieve an understated architectural look that accommodates the family’s year-round needs but stills feels like a cottage. “In cottage design, it’s not so much about how it looks but how it lives and feels,” Haig says. “I think it’s important to achieve both, but that principle is the most important.”
In order to minimize the scale of the house, Haig says he employed varying rooflines and low roof overhangs. “Sometimes shadows bring the scale down, so there are slightly heavy overhangs that emphasize the horizontal eaves more strongly, which pulls your eye down,” he explains. He also designed the house to appear as though it could’ve been built in stages. The left side of the house is the two-story master suite wing; the right side is the one-story side entry, which leads to the mudroom and the son’s bedroom; and the main body of the house is in the middle and includes a tower-like structure added to help meet one of Eric and Simone’s most important needs for their new vacation house.
Now that the couple’s son and daughter are both in college, Simone says a big reason for rebuilding the lakeside house was to accommodate the influx of their college friends visiting for the weekend (sometimes even weeks, Simone notes). “This house is a revolving door,” she says. Since the site only allows for a three-bedroom plan, Haig had to get creative. The tower, which includes a loft that can sleep two, was one fun way to incorporate additional sleeping space. “I imagine myself 40 years ago, and that’s the kind of place I would’ve loved to hang out,” Haig says. “When I spent time at my grandparents’ boathouse, we had those sort of quirky places to sleep.” Haig says the tower design was inspired by the dormer (aka “the tree house”) of the previous cottage, which itself was a mini tower that “poked up” and was where the kids slept. Directly below the tower loft, a pullout bed that sleeps one is built into storage; and built-in alcoves on both sides of the stone fireplace in the first-floor living room boast cushions the size of twin mattresses.
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