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Lutsen, MN Cabin

New Construction

Nestled into the woods on the shore of Caribou Lake, the environmentally friendly Jewel Box Cabin uses the principles of biophilic design to connect the homeowners with their natural surroundings.


This 900 square foot, two-story cabin, sits among the trees, designed for minimal site impact. The entrance is tucked underneath the large, second-story cantilever, evoking principles of prospect and refuge. The second story cantilever is counter balanced by a grounded steel firewood box, adding additional privacy to the entrance. Once inside, the great room space opens up with higher ceilings, exposed fir beams and expansive windows, connecting the homeowners back to nature. A door leads out to the screen porch, where you are once again outside, nestled in the woods. On the upper floor you are greeted with wall to wall windows putting you higher among the trees. The modest bedrooms with plywood closets, capture additional lake and forest views. The upper floor contains two bedrooms, a family bath and flex space all within the confines of 385 square feet. A large plywood door on the main floor can be used to close off the upper floor for additional privacy. The radiant concrete floors and wood burning stove provide warmth and comfort during the snowy winter months.


AIA 2021 Framework For Design Excellence

Midwest Homes - Clean Simple and Sustainable

Star Tribune AIA Home of the Month

Build With Rise - House Feature

RAVE Awards 2023


Imprint Architecture and Design, llc
Contractor: Max Construction

Photography: Landmark Photography and Design, llp


**Sustainable Features**


Building Design: 

- At 900sf the cabin is efficient and uses it space to its highest potential. The interior of the cabin includes a kitchen, large great room, 2 bedrooms, a flex reading space, 1.5 bathrooms, a laundry/mud room, a mechanical room and plenty of storage. 

- The cabin was built to minimize clearing and impact to the lakeshore. It utilizes the existing drainage swale and site contours.

- The cabin was positioned on site and designed to allow for maximum solar heat gain in the winter and cool breezes in the summer

- The class five driveway and parking pad is impervious and allows for water to filter back into the ground - less runoff


Energy Efficiency: 

- Large windows throughout to reduce electrical needs 

- LED lighting throughout

- Radiant heat in slab

- Passive cooling - no air conditioner

- Air to air exchanger

- Bradford White energy saver electric water heater 

- American Standard dual flush toilets 


Sustainable Products:

 Exterior Materials: 

- Metal Siding from Metal Sales - which uses recycled metal, has a long life span, has an Energy Star listed coating to reduce solar heat loads and contains the Declare label for red label free chemical coatings. 

- Natural Cedar siding placed on the first floor of the North side of the cabin for longevity and easy maintenance. Finished with water based stain. 

- Marvin Windows that have sustainably sourced pine and aluminum (not vinyl composite or plastic, which is most common) are 20% more energy efficient than EnergyStar requirements for North zone (if U factors were around .25) and are manufactured locally in northern MN, by company employing 2000 Minnesotans.

 Interior Materials: 

- Polished concrete slab with water based sealer

- All interior wood sealed is sealed with water based sealer

- Sherwin-Williams interior paint is low VOC, Gold certified Greenguard

- Eco-fi PET carpet tiles made of 100% purified plastic bottles

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