Lakeside Getaway

Location: Acton, ME

Lakeside Getaway
This private home was designed to be reminiscent of traditional Maine lodges and family camps. Lassel Architects worked closely with the homeowners to provide a meticulously crafted home to serve as a sanctuary for their large family. The open-concept plan, wrapped in a unique timber frame inspired by early 20th century architects Greene and Greene, provides spaces suitable for entertaining with generous views to the lake. Bedrooms and loft sleeping spaces were configured to maximize water views. As a unique design feature, the central staircase winds around a natural tree truck, leading up to a tower room with views of the lake and surrounding forest. All interior spaces are framed with natural wood. Custom-built furniture and cabinets withstand daily use and activity.

As the family uses the home year-round, careful attention was paid to insulation, air tightness and efficient mechanical systems, including in-floor heating. The house was integrated into the natural topography of the site to connect the interior and exterior spaces in an organic fashion. Solar orientation and summer and winter sun angles were studied to help keep the home cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

The list of COTE (AIA Committee on the Environment) items was created to help understand how a project meets the needs of users and how it impacts the environment.  The list focuses on best practices and high impact strategies for creating healthy places to live and work.  Here are some ways this project measures up to the COTE list:


The site sits between Great East Lake and a significant bird habitat.  It was critical to plan the site so the home would not fall within any significant setbacks.  The gently sloping site was ideal for a walk-out basement on the long end of the home.



Integration of local landscape and trees limits damage to the natural canopy.


Low volume fixtures were used throughout the home and limit the impact on the local water body.



The house is designed to function off the grid during major outages.  A combination of high-performance windows and durable house shell and energy efficient fixtures and appliances allows the house to be independent for several weeks using a generator and limited gas supply.


Low VOC products and natural timber framing was integrated throughout the home.  Special attention was paid to make up air and air filtration via the mechanical system.  An abundance of natural light and passive solar gain help energy levels.


Contractor — Eco Sound Builders


Year Completed 2009
Size 3,500 square feet