Most father-son bonding experiences involve fishing or camping, but Bill Yudchitz, and his son, Daniel, chose instead to build a tiny off-grid cabin from scratch. The result, called Nest, is a stunningly beautiful and affordable green retreat overlooking Lake Superior in Wisconsin. The contemporary 325-square-foot home treads lightly on the land and uses sustainable technology such as solar lanterns and rainwater collection.
If the Nest looks more professionally built than the typical father-son project, it’s because the Yudchitzes are licensed architects. Bill Yudchitz has his own practice, Revelations Architects/Builders in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, while his son Daniel works for the architecture and engineering firm HGA in Minneapolis. The weekend retreat is located equidistant from each of their homes on a 2.78-acre forested lot overlooking Lake Superior’s Chequamegon Bay.
The Yudchitzes, who only worked on Nest on weekends, completed the tiny house in a little over a year. To minimize costs, the architects reused leftover materials from previous projects and elevated the house on eight concrete piers instead of using a full perimeter foundation. Clad in black metal, the wood-framed home opens out on the south side through 12-foot-high doors to views of the lake and a wooden boardwalk. White-oak rain screens, lined with aspen plywood, support a rainwater collection system that feeds a sand-filtered cistern and shower.
The interior is divided into three vertical zones. The lowest level is a multifunctional space with transforming furniture made from Baltic birch plywood. A ladder leads to a nine-by-five-foot sleeping loft. A rooftop observation space, accessible via ladder, tops the building. The architects also added a dry-flush toilet and water jug to eliminate the need for plumbing.
Images via Revelations Architects/Builders