Polson, Montana

Multiple generations of this family have taken refuge on these shores on Flathead Lake since the 1960’s. With 60′ of elevation drop from the entry road to the shore, careful site planning was required on the land in order to graciously receive the Floating House as well as a new, accessible drive down to it. Two old cabins were removed. Due to the site being a huge, sloping bedrock slab, little site area was actually available for the home. As a result, it’s oriented parallel to the shorelines in what little low slope area exists. This orientation provides the feel of being on a boathouse, moored at the docks, but living right on the water. At the center, all social functions occur.

This form is flanked by two glass boxes that provide circulation from one side of the home to the other and create a break between social and private spaces. Bookending the social area are the sleeping quarters for Grandma, her kids/spouses and her grandkids, as well as guests (Grandma and guests on one end; kids with the grandkids and, of course, a bunk room on the other). The roof lines of the Floating House mimic the multiple benches that step down the hillside. Natural materials blend the home into the landscape and hillside and allow it to patina with time. It’s subtle and quiet… except when it’s not. And that’s how it’s supposed to be when family gathers on the lake.

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