Winkelman Architecture

Bark Shingle Camp

Rome, Maine

Project Team: Joanna Shaw, Will Winkelman

Landscape Architect: Richardson & Associates

Builder: Warren Construction Group

Photography: Jeff Roberts

Wrapped in poplar bark shingles and tucked into the trees, this family camp is nearly invisible unless you know where to look

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For the past 20 years, this five-acre spot on Great Pond in central Maine has been the homeowners’ summer retreat. The family wanted to respect and maintain the existing house and build an additional space that would be comfortable for two people and also comfortably accommodate a family of five.  

The site provides a combination of natural woods, open spaces and 650 feet of shoreline. The new building is sited to the north of the family whiffle ball field, so that games could be observed from the new screen porch.  The clients wished to retain as many trees as possible, and opted for natural, low maintenance landscaping around the new home.   Through preservation of the existing trees and the materiality of the house, it is barely visible from the lake.  The house softly recedes and blends with the landscape.

The siting and angles of the house highlight views of the lake.  The new 2,400 square foot home curves along the setback from the pond, providing water views from nearly every room.  The screen porch is a welcoming intermediary space between the houses.

Inside the couple was looking for open spaces for family gatherings, but also cozy features like a natural granite wood burning fireplace and a built-in reading nook.  They incorporated practical features like a first floor master suite, an outdoor shower to rinse off from the lake, and a mud room with space for golf clubs.

Filled with quiet views, natural materials and entertainment spaces, the home is suited to sharing time with family and friends and enjoying the place to themselves.  

One of the top priorities was for the home to be low maintenance, so a palette of hardy materials which could weather naturally was selected.  Poplar bark shingles clad the house and meet a rambling stone base, sourced from an old stone wall.  Hemlock trim weathers beautifully and fits agreeably into the wooded surroundings.  The copper standing seam roof will shed snow and patina with time and complements the copper details between shingles and stone.  

The stone entry patio and massive single slab hearth make it feel as though the home is seated on a natural ledge of granite.  From large boulders on the ground, the granite stone climbs upward to the chimney.   

For the interior, the goal was a warm and inviting environment that was both cozy and bright.  They opted for a harmony of woods including walls and ceiling lined with natural tongue and groove pine boards, rustic heart pine floors in varying widths, and peeled log posts.  Iron fittings and fixtures provide contrast and deliver simple utility.