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Family Camp

  • Lakeside Camp is part of a family property on a lake in New Hampshire.

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    Lakeside Camp is part of a family property on a lake in New Hampshire.

    Chuck Choi

    Lakeside Camp is part of a family property on a lake in New Hampshire.

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    The house was constructed as a companion to the original home, which was built in the 1960s.

    Chuck Choi

    The house was constructed as a companion to the original home, which was built in the 1960s.

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    The objective was to create a second building that was close enough so that families could be near each other, yet have sufficient privacy.

    Chuck Choi

    The objective was to create a second building that was close enough so that families could be near each other, yet have sufficient privacy.

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    A trail leads from the lake right up to the house.

    Chuck Choi

    A trail leads from the lake right up to the house.

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    Architect Tom Murdough designed the house so the path from the lake goes right through the property. Because its the first building you arrive at when you walk up the path from the lake, the home functions as a gatehouse.

    Chuck Choi

    Architect Tom Murdough designed the house so the path from the lake goes right through the property. Because it’s the first building you arrive at when you walk up the path from the lake, the home functions as a gatehouse.

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    Sliding window walls let the outside in.

    Chuck Choi

    Sliding window walls let the outside in.

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    The home is used all year long, where open spaces lend themselves to family gatherings.

    Chuck Choi

    The home is used all year long, where open spaces lend themselves to family gatherings.

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    Modernist ideas of merging the house with the site and opening the inside to the out of doors were foremost in architect Tom Murdoughs mind.

    Chuck Choi

    Modernist ideas of merging the house with the site and opening the inside to the out of doors were foremost in architect Tom Murdough’s mind.

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    Throughout the house, landscape is the prime focus.

    Chuck Choi

    Throughout the house, landscape is the prime focus.

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    The production schedule was briskthe house broke ground in the fall and was finished the following summer, just in time for a family wedding.

    Chuck Choi

    The production schedule was brisk—the house broke ground in the fall and was finished the following summer, just in time for a family wedding.

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    Despite the brisk schedule, craft was a high priority. Murdough says he was lucky enough to get the very best people for the job.

    Chuck Choi

    Despite the brisk schedule, craft was a high priority. Murdough says he was lucky enough to get the very best people for the job.

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    A lot of trust was placed in the general contractor and the trades who helped make the project happen, says Murdough.

    Chuck Choi

    “A lot of trust” was placed in the general contractor and the trades who helped make the project happen, says Murdough.

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    The house can accommodate two families at once, with a bunk room designed so kids can hang out together.

    Chuck Choi

    The house can accommodate two families at once, with a bunk room designed so kids can hang out together.

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    Large windows and cedar siding help emphasize thewoodsy New Hampshire setting.

    Chuck Choi

    Large windows and cedar siding help emphasize thewoodsy New Hampshire setting.

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    Interiors are an appealing combination of streamlined and rustic.

    Chuck Choi

    Interiors are an appealing combination of streamlined and rustic.

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    The house is meant to be an heirloom that will last for generations to come.

    Chuck Choi

    The house is meant to be an heirloom that will last for generations to come.

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    The home had a setback of 75 feet from the lake and is sited diagonally in relation to the lake, for maximal views out onto the water. The kink in the floor plan responds to site demands and creates a sheltered deck.

    Chuck Choi

    The home had a setback of 75 feet from the lake and is sited diagonally in relation to the lake, for maximal views out onto the water. The “kink” in the floor plan responds to site demands and creates a sheltered deck.

This house at Lakeside Camp is a new summer home that’s part of an old family camp; the four brothers who commissioned the house spent their childhood vacations there. But as each got married and started a family, they outgrew the original shared summer house. A new building that was stylistically compatible with the original was essential. Equally important was that the new house needed to be close enough to the original one so that it felt adjacent, yet far enough away that each generation could have a sense of privacy.

The newest lakeside house nestles beautifully into its setting. It sits in a forest of hemlock and beech trees and appears to be a natural part of the landscape. But siting the building wasn’t easy. To the west is the lake and a 75-foot setback to consider (the home’s deck’s edge comes right up to the setback line). To the east is a tennis court that couldn’t be moved; to the south, a glacial boulder garden and vernal pond—architect Tom Murdough didn’t want to touch those. He worked around all of those elements, wedging the house onto a triangular site. “In order to comply with the setback, our big move was to create a kink in the building,” he says. The angling ends up orienting the house diagonally to the lake and maximizing views from just about all the living spaces. The kink in the plan also does something else: It gives a feeling of privacy to the deck, sheltering it from the other buildings.

Modernist principles were foremost in Murdough’s mind when he designed this woodsy getaway. Windows are big, letting the outside in and the inside out. Interior spaces are open plan, with cedar walls that highlight every outdoor view. “The glass reflects the greenery, and the house camouflages itself,” Murdough observes. “The house prioritizes the landscape.”

The clients requested that the house be completely finished in time for a family wedding, so the production schedule was brisk—just 16 months from design to finish, with shop drawings being completed as the project went along. Because the house was built during the worst part of the recession, Murdough was able to get the general contractor and trades he wanted, in whom he placed total trust. “That probably couldn’t happen, even now,” the architect admits. With the home’s all-over emphasis on custom craft, from woodwork to stainless steel, he knows he was very lucky. “The clients wanted a home designed to stay in the family, to be an heirloom,” he says. “It was built to last.”

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Boston, MA.