Home Goods | March 23, 2017 9:00 am

Ever Seen a Lake House With a 30-Foot Glass Door?

Don't skip arm day. It's a hand-crank.

“Make the house as open to the water as possible.”

That’s the entirety of the brief that architect Tom Kundig got on his desk for a lakeside residential structure in Northern Idaho.

What came of that brief: Chicken Point Cabin. On name alone, you’d be forgiven for assuming this was some kind of backcountry farm. In reality, it’s an exquisite vacation cabin in Northern Idaho designed for a family of four. It has all the trappings of a beautiful summer house: lofted master suite, massive banquet table for shared meals, proximity to a secluded forest and — last but not least — lake access.

Cabin (4 images)

The crown jewel, however, is the wheel-operated 30×20 foot glass window in the living room, which as Kundig describes, uses “a hand-cranked mechanical contraption employing a counterbalance principle through a set of gears, like that of a bicycle, that allow minimal input of force to pivot the six-ton steel and glass window.” Sounds complicated, looks cool.

Cabin 2 (5 images)

And that’s not the only engaging feature of the cabin. The way you interact with the house also changes with the seasons. Most obviously: since you have to leave the window-door closed in the frozen months, the home features a special winter entrance (based on proximity to road and carpark) in the form of an impressive if creepy 19-foot steel door. Seems a little drafty to us, but it looks majestic.

Photos: Benjamin Benschneider