This split-level retreat unifies and harmonizes the natural elements of its open-prairie, lakeside setting.

Perched along a ridge on a five-acre, open-prairie site overlooking Lake Sarah, this 140-foot-long, 24-foot-wide, daylit split-level provides soft, foliage-filtered views of nature. An outdoor living space joins the master bedroom suite, kitchen, and living and dining areas on the west end of the top floor with a workshop to the east. Two guest bedrooms and a small living room are below. FSC-certified, white-oak floors and ceilings wrap interior spaces, adding warmth and referencing the surrounding forest. The 85-foot descent to the lake begins in the home and continues along an exterior staircase that spills downhill toward the shore.

After ascending wood stairs to the top level of HillHaven, people pass through a courtyard where they can pause to enjoy an elevated view of Lake Sarah before entering the cabin.
Hillhaven integrates earth and structure
making a building of the land.
The exterior is clad with rustic, modern materials: textured concrete and charred cedar.
The FSC-certified white oak floors and ceilings add warmth to the bright, naturally illuminated interiors, and relate to the materiality of the site.
The main program requirements are met on the top floor where it’s possible to see above the existing berm.
The exterior stairway leading to the lake’s edge flows downhill between existing site contours.
The architectural and landscape design work in concert with the natural features of HillHaven’s open-prairie, lakeside setting.