Camp MINOH: A Rugged Lakeside Retreat in Charlevoix
Discover Camp MINOH, a stunning retreat designed by William Kaven Architecture, located near Charlevoix, Michigan on the picturesque shores of Lake Michigan.
This rugged yet tranquil haven features a unique combination of concrete, charred wood, glass, and steel, embracing the natural beauty of its lakeside surroundings. Perfect for extended family gatherings, Camp MINOH offers a seamless blend of indoor and outdoor living spaces, providing an unforgettable getaway experience.
About Camp MINOH
Nestled Near Charlevoix: Camp MINOH
Located near Charlevoix on the shores of Lake Michigan, Camp MINOH embodies the rugged ethos of Midwestern life. Nestled among pine and birch trees, the house faces the strong winter winds that head south across the lake from the Upper Peninsula and Canada. Designed as a refuge for extended family gatherings, the interior alternates between opaque and open spaces.
Gathering Spaces and Private Retreats
The ground floor serves as the main gathering space, featuring a long, linear connected floor plan. In contrast, the second floor offers a private den for film viewing, a bunk room, and two bedroom suites.
Balancing Strength and Tranquility
During the design process, the architects were tasked with creating a structure that matched the strength and scale of the body of water visible from every room in the house. The client desired a rugged, low-maintenance home, which led to the simple interior palette: exposed Doug Fir beams for the ceiling, and dark, rich tones of walnut and polished concrete floors to anchor the space. The upper floor highlights rift-sawn white oak, creating a deliberate contrast to the ground floor below. A cantilevered living section and framed views of the lake enhance the airiness, connecting the interior space with the dramatic exterior environment. The exterior features concrete, charred wood, glass, and steel.
Achieving Tranquility and Durability
A primary design goal was to convey a distinct sense of tranquility, achieved by showcasing year-round sunsets, favoring views of Beaver Island, and ensuring transparency on both levels. Visitors can see clear through the house to the lake from the road.
The exterior uses Shou Sugi Ban, a Japanese technique that extends the life of wood, to withstand extreme exposure to storms and UV light. The charcoal-like material is not only aesthetically pleasing but extremely long-lasting. Site-cast exterior concrete results in a raw yet beautifully textured finish.
Photography courtesy of William Kaven Architecture
Visit William Kaven Architecture- by Matt Watts