Modern cabin featuring Marvin Ultimate windows and doors, nestled in a forest in remote Maine in winter.
01 November 2021

A Winding Boardwalk Grounds This Hovering Cabin Along the Edge of a Remote Pond

The northern Maine hideaway rests on piers above the forest floor and employs broad windows to frame the homeowner’s most prized views of the site. 

Stephen Peck and his husband, John Messer, walked their remote, 10-acre plot in Maine for nearly a decade before building their dream home. Yet it was all those walks—paths through the property’s dense forest and around massive boulders to the pond’s edge—that ultimately inspired the structure’s placement deep into the forest, where the site best captures their favorite perspectives of the place.
After many years in South Florida the couple began looking for a summer home in the Northeast around 2005, eventually purchasing the remote site near Dedham. "We were looking for a respite from the congestion and wanted to find land on an inland body of water, like a lake or a pond, so we could extend the swimming season," explains Peck. The property, which they’ve now made their full-time home, has few close neighbors and occupies a peninsula along the water’s edge. 

Taking advantage of the remote location, the couple also opted for floor-to-ceiling Marvin Ultimate windows and doors throughout the home. "I imagined large expanses of glass to capture sunlight both in the morning and late afternoon," Peck says. "It was about creating an experience within a space—keeping us connected to nature and the feelings of this site." 
Peck, who also works as an interior designer, led early stages of conceptualizing the site plan and layout, even conducting studies to chart paths of the wind and sun. "I envisioned a space that was relaxed and easy," he comments. "I knew it wasn't going to be a traditional camp in Maine, with knotty pine or a rustic interior. It’s a more refined interior than you might expect, but there's an informality to it as well." 
Peck also enlisted the local expertise of Elliott Architects to refine his vision and bring to life the various experiences of the site. "The winding walk down to the pond—the sort of meandering and opening up of the view between the big rocks—has been a metaphor for the whole project," says project architect Isaac Robbins. "The further you get away from the home, whether up the driveway or out to the edge of the pond, the less you see of it and the less you're aware that it's there," he adds. "The materials and windows all aid that effect." 
"The draw of this place was being on our own," Peck says. "Coming from a dense urban environment, we felt vulnerable to nature when we first arrived. And even though we’ve built a home that protects us from the outside, there is also a sense of not wanting to get too far away from it. When the sun comes up after a snowstorm, it's really magical to be here, surrounded by the woods, with glimpses of the boulders and pond out the windows." 
Project Credits 

Architecture: Elliott Architects 

Construction: Acorn Builders  

Window & Door Supplier: Hammond Lumber Company 

Structural Engineering: Becker Structural   

Interior Design: Stephen Peck Design 

Photography: Dwell Creative Studio 
This article was first published in Dwell