Winkelman Architecture

Belgrade Lakes House

Belgrade Lakes Region, Maine

Project Team: Eric Sokol, Will Winkelman

Landscape Architect: Richardson Associates

Structural Engineer: Albert Putnam Associates

Builder: Lane Plissey, LP Homes

Photography: Eric Sokol

A modern lakeside house that embraces the landscape.

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On this steep sloping and rocky site along a pond in the Belgrade Lakes region of Maine, the challenge was to create something that felt connected to the woods and water and that works into the slope of the site rather than reforming it. 

Everywhere about the site are massive boulders, left by receding glaciers thousands of years ago and now covered with moss and ferns.  Instead of blasting them into pieces and hauling them away, the home was situated to nest among them and look into them.

The inverted plan has the main entry of the house on the second floor, just at grade on the uphill side, and the primary living spaces on the lower level.  These are pushed forward toward the lake so that they sit low on the ground and flow outside with a single step, with lake views under the canopy of the trees. A tall, glazed stairwell links the two levels together and floods daylight into the rear spaces that are nested into the hillside. To further blend the house into the topography, all of the lower roofs are planted and extend back into the hillside, so that the house appears to be emerging from the the landscape, rather than piled on top of it.