Cape Russell Retreat

Cape Russell Retreat | Notes of Interest

The owners commissioned the architect to design and coordinate construction of an off-the-grid lakeside pavilion with integrated water reclamation and photovoltaic technology for weekend use. A lightweight steel structure was chosen for durability and ease of fabrication. This structure was shop fitted with tabs to allow for the attachment of a secondary skin. The desire for transparency coupled with a passive cooling approach led to this skin becoming a shop fabricated structural screen of 2x4 vertical cedar boards backed with insect screen. Cedar blocking located between vertical members of the skin lends a delicate pattern camouflaging the retreat within its densely wooded setting. Towards the water view the skin dissolves and becomes a series of screen panels allowing unobstructed views to the water and mountains beyond. A single 8’x8’ sliding screen panel provides direct access to the water. Additionally the skin provides the structure for the butterfly roof above that directs and delivers rainwater to a collection cistern located beside the retreat. An internal charcoal filter and ultraviolet light treat the water for potable use. Rooftop mounted photovoltaic cells provide the necessary power to run the water pump, refrigeration, fans and lighting allowing the structure to function independently. The construction cost was $47,200.

Collaboration Acknowledgements

Principal in Charge: Brandon F. Pace, AIA
Project Team: John L. Sanders, AIA, and Michael A. Davis, Assoc. AIA

Photo Credit

© Jeffrey Jacobs Photography


Architect: Sanders Pace Architecture
Location: Sharps Chapel, Tenn.

Award of Merit

Jury Comments

A well executed little cabin that is totally off the grid.

This off the grid house tackles the sustainable design directly. Its wooden milled façade gives subtle shade to the interior space by day and provides a beautiful lantern like appearance at night. The jury appreciated this project for it well designed modesty and delicacy.

This is a terrific small building that evokes a campsite with glowing embers waiting for the stars to appear.

2012 AIA Small Project Awards Jury

James Cline, AIA, Chair
Cline Architects
San Francisco

Anne Fougeron, FAIA
Fougeron Architecture
San Francisco

Chad Oppenheim, AIA
Oppenheim Architecture + Design

James Slade, AIA
Slade Architecture
New York

Karen Van Lengen, FAIA
Karen Van Lengen Architect
Charlottesville, Va.

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