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Eagle’s Perch

Countryside

The design of Eagle’s Perch is whimsical and eclectic, combining influences from classic New England lakefront bungalows and gambrel-roofed Shingle Style houses. The clear, clean, “kettle-hole” lake (created by a left-behind block of glacial ice) is in a district of several lakes. The property closes off the view down a cul-de-sac leading to one of them. The steep slope up from the lake to the house is reflected in the design, which appears to crown the hill with a form that continues the shape of the hill itself.

The exaggerated chimney, windows, shutters, and weather vane on the exterior, and the flat cut-out representations of the house’s form that appear in the mantel and columns on the interior, give the house a playful, whimsical feeling. The soaring angles, geometric form, and large overhangs of the roof highlight both its sculptural and sheltering qualities. The exaggerated elements and compact form emphatically state “lake house,” creating a scenario where the house is both an actual lake house and a representation of a lake house. The design feels familiar, yet you’ve never quite seen it before. Like the best vernacular architecture, it is both timeless and of its own time.

A request by the owner was a weather vane based on the coat of arms from the Great Seal of the United States, which was invented in 1782 as a symmetrical standing eagle holding an olive branch in one claw and arrows in another. The eagle’s head turns toward the olive branch, symbolizing a preference for peace but a readiness for war. As a more dynamic and casual image suited to a private home, PSD suggested an eagle in flight. The resulting representation was based on an actual photograph of a bald eagle about to land. On the interior, main living spaces are open to one another to facilitate socializing, but also defined as separate by soffits, ceiling shapes, and columns.