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A Family Retreat on the Lake

Canandaigua Lake, New York

Patience was key for Dan and Laurie's search for the right site along Canandaigua Lake in the Finger Lakes region of New York. It was nearly four years before they found a spot and called to ask us to check it out with them. Ty and Pete visited and agreed, it was THE spot, well worth the search.  

The build site overlooks the lake and came with strict site constraints (not uncommon when building near water) including height restrictions, erosion/sediment concerns, setbacks, and more. The constraints drove the overall siting of the house (down 'into' the land) and the future garage location.

We knew Dan and Laurie’s project would be a multi-generational retreat home. It would act as a central gathering spot for family and friends. Plans evolved to combine open public spaces centralized on both the main and lower levels to easily accommodate larger gatherings. Balancing that are private spaces on the ends of the home which allow folks the opportunity to enjoy their quiet space or step inwards to join the party. 

The project is a hybrid using timber frame and traditional construction where the public spaces fall under the core timber frame. We used the main carrying beams and a bigger timber to bring visual and physical weight to delineate the great room, kitchen, and dining areas. The great room is also vaulted while the dining and kitchen spaces have flat ceilings. The kitchen island provides a further break between food preparation zones and the dining room. Glass wraps the frame at close to ninety-degree angles. You can see through the corners resulting in a nearly 180-degree view of the lake.  

Follow our blog posts to get the full story on Dan and Laurie's timber frame home:

A family retreat on Canandaigua Lake: Working the Land
A family retreat on Canandaigua Lake: Designing Spaces
A Homeowner's Point of View: Building a Family Retreat