Pickerel Lake, Jackson Strom of Strom Architecture
Story by Tracy Nicholson
Photography by Jill Ockhardt Blaufuss
With stone hand-picked from the quarry featured on the roadside, and cantilevered windows on the lakeside, this panoramic paradise stops boaters in their wake. To find out more about this elevated endeavor, we contacted the designer, Jackson Strom of Strom Architecture in Fargo. This month, he takes us inside for a two-story tour through the Pickerel Lake, S.D., retreat that's redefining what it means to truly capture the view.
While the roadside relates more closely to the landscape, the lakeside presents a connectedness to the water and skyline like nothing we've seen. The homeowners worked with Strom and Interior Design Concepts out of Aberdeen, S.D., to choose a modern, yet warm palette of stone, along with two different textures and colors of Dryvit to complement the shallow-pitched, standing seam metal roof. "We matched the stone selection from a well-known Midwest architect’s work, and the client actually drove across the country to the stone quarry to review the stone selection before purchasing," explained Strom.
Completed in 2015, this Pickerel Lake home has pushed the outer limits of architecture with one goal in mind; maximize the view and offer a closer connection to the lake. It seems easy enough until you consider the smaller, 50-foot lot the team had to work with to create a five-bed, five-bath home with two half-baths.
The homeowners had owned the cabin next door, so they already recognized the value of its prime location. Purchasing the lot, they began work with Strom Architecture and Greg Johnson Construction to tear down the existing cabin, making way for new construction. Shortly before construction started, the client realized that there was going to be a three-foot-wide concrete shear wall on the lakeside; needed to resist lateral forces of wind. This factor would result in three fewer feet of lake views.
Revising the Design
"Upon the client's request, we revised the design to maximize the view, which resulted in minimizing the structure by incorporating steel columns," said Strom. The steel frame acts as the shear wall and allows the roof trusses to cantilever out toward the lake, thus reducing the structural load on the angled windows on the second floor."
Once construction was completed, the team worked with Landscape Architect, Brian Reinarts of Confluence (formerly known as Land Elements), to create a simplistic and symmetrical landscape that would flow seamlessly from roadside to lakeside.
Take a Tour!
Welcoming guests with an immediate wow factor is a two-story foyer with large, south-facing glass and a custom stair with floating treads by Straightline Design of Detroit Lakes. To forge a stronger connection to the lake from the interior, Strom created a design that raised the ceiling heights to 11-feet on the main floor and 10-feet on the upper floor, utilizing large, floor-to-ceiling glass on the lakeside for both levels.
Per the homeowner's request, the home was designed with a master on the main level for them, and a master upstairs for their son. "They love to host company, so the design upstairs needed to allow for three additional guest rooms, each with their own private bath," said Strom.
Majestic Main Level
The entire main floor is comprised of 3,330 square feet which include a two-stall garage, mudroom, storage, powder room, master suite, laundry, foyer, living room, dining room, kitchen, pantry and covered patio. The finishes throughout this space offer a modern approach with custom cabinetry, tile flooring, and rich textures like the walnut, stone and black granite found in the living room. To complete the interior design and furnishings, the homeowners worked with Interior Design Concepts, located in Aberdeen, S.D.
To design the high-contrast, modern kitchen, the homeowners chose a dark-stained walnut from Crystal Cabinets, paired with sleek, contemporary pulls and high-end appliances. As a finale in the open-concept kitchen with a view, the team executed two major wow factors; an LED-backlit Quartzite island and a stunning marble backsplash.
Mastering the Suites
To complete two master suites, the team worked to create a layout that would give the homeowners and their son direct views of the lake from their master baths by looking through to the bedroom. "Every aspect of the home was designed, reviewed and agreed upon between the clients, interior designer, and myself," said Strom.
The main level master suite features a phenomenal walk-in closet with a custom storage system, bench seating, and dark-stained Walnut by Crystal Cabinets. Even the TV install is well thought out, with placement easily seen from the spacious, galley bathroom, double sinks and vanity.
Heading upstairs, the upper level consists of 2,640 square feet of engineered hardwood flooring, showcasing another living room, wet bar, sitting room, covered roof deck, powder room, laundry, and four bedrooms - each with their own private bathroom. Two fireplaces feature black granite and tile finishes, with nearly every space driven by the panoramic view and designed for gathering.
"They love to entertain so we created large, open gathering spaces and connected the interior to the exterior by opening the upper floor living room to the patio with bi-fold doors. When they're open, an automated retractable screen can be lowered, and if it’s cool out, built-in radiant heaters in the soffit can be turned on. The client has often mentioned that there is little need to go outside, as their view of the lake is the same, and there is no air conditioning outside,” lauged Strom.
"The entire layout goes back to maximizing the connection to the lake, and the angled windows bring every guest to the upper floor to experience the space."
"The clients are always up to date with the latest technology, so automated, exterior retractable screens, lighting controls, custom lighting, built-in audio, large TVs and automated window shades were important elements to include in their design," said Strom.
An Elevated Experience
"The entire layout goes back to maximizing the connection to the lake, and the angled windows bring every guest to the upper floor to experience the space. The clients have often had other residents of the lake stop by, inquiring if they can tour the home, and the room with the angled glass wall is always the showstopper," said Strom.
"This was my first modern residential design, and I was very fortunate to work with a client that trusted me, the process, and pushed every design feature to the limit. They were open to adding any feature that was new, innovative or unique. I was so excited to stay updated with the progress, that it became my Saturday morning ritual to travel the one-and-a-half hours to the job site to review construction, and ensure the project was going as planned," explained Strom.
"This project will always be special to me for the memories shared with the client, the risk they took on a designer early in his career, and because of how they pushed the envelope on this design."
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