SERENE LAKES CABIN | High Performance

One block from a mountain lake and miles of trails, the Serene Lakes Cabin is designed to be used as a year-round retreat for a mountain bike riding doctor and her family. The simple compact home is built with an understanding of the extreme environmental conditions found on Donner Summit, where it can snow in excess of 800 inches a year. Daylighting becomes a challenge in the winter months as the snow banks begin to encase buildings and reach roof lines. The owner requested warm light filled spaces that were also scaled to a “cabin” size – small and cozy. The building’s orientation and fenestration shields the interior from neighboring buildings and snow accumulation. High south clerestory windows allow winter solar heat gain and light. The main living area occupies the second floor so that much of the year it is above the snow with a western facing deck protecting the lower windows. Both interior and exterior materials were chosen for low maintenance and durability. A super insulated assembly with attention to air-sealing minimizes the need for heating and keeps the house comfortable year-round.


TYPE: New Construction

SIZE: 1910 SF

LOCATION: Serene Lakes, Donner Summit Area

DATE: 2017

DESIGNER: Atmosphere Design Build

CONTRACTOR: Matt Jaborski Construction


Photo credit: Kat Alves Photography