Lake House
Lake Minnetonka, MN 2009
  • Olson Kundig Allen Architects
  • Karen Melvin
  • Stimson

This new residence on the shore of Lake Minnetonka consists of segmented living quarters connected by social spaces and a central terrace. The building is oriented to take advantage of views to the north and southwest. A series of stone retaining walls creates elevated platforms for the building, central terrace, and private terraces. The terraces and retaining walls are extensions of the interior rooms and walls, and extend the building out into the landscape. The long site walls required to raise the house above the floodplain allow gently graded slopes to blend with the lakeshore topography. Vernacular wood docks extend from the house to the water, and beyond to a trail system. Native wetland and transitional upland plant communities respect the lakeshore ecology, and site patterns reflect historic logging and farming geometries from the region.