Canoe Camps - Caleb Johnson Studio

Canoe Camps

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Canoe Camps

The owners of a Pequawket Lake property reached out to Caleb Johnson Studio to begin the revitalization of a family camp. Ready for an upgrade but nostalgic for the memories, the challenge of this design would be striking the right balance — creating room and longevity for the next generation while honoring and appreciating the past.

Celebration of the present.

The desire to maintain a smaller footprint and stay aligned with neighboring camps ruled out just a singular large structure. Instead, the two existing cottages were torn down. In replacing them, the clients were clear on what they wanted — to remain a family camp with the bare necessities and a focus on togetherness. It wouldn’t be a luxury escape but rather a celebration of nature, closeness, and the present.

Communal at the heart.

A gabled story and a half design were chosen for both buildings, keeping the scale of the structures low and small. Together they would make up around 2,700 square feet with enough sleeping space for over 20 guests, including seven bedrooms, lofts, and screened-in sleeping porches — a family tradition. A communal-style living environment with small bedrooms encourages everyone to be out in the main living areas: the kitchen, living room, and outdoors.

Inside, lightly pickled pine floors and walls keep the spaces bright and sunny, while orange accents pay homage to the color of the original 1950s buildings. Green cabinetry in the kitchen reflects the outside alongside natural slate flooring. 

As for amenities, given a choice between a laundry set or dishwasher, the adult children chose a dishwasher. When the camp is full, it will be no surprise to see laundry hanging and towels drying, all part of the laid-back, lived-in feel of a Maine lakeside camp.

For generations to come.

Cedar and hemlock make up the exterior of the buildings with a brown stain that keeps the home somewhat camouflaged in its surroundings. Orange trims around the window are another reflection of the former camp, along with hidden details the family requested. Carved into three porch posts are the birthdates of the client’s parents and his own. Done in morse code, it’s intricate and decorative but loaded with meaning. 

At the heart of this design are tradition, family, and closeness. From there, the rest takes shape naturally.

Director of Design: David Duncan Morris, AIA, NCARB

Architectural Team: Teresa Telander, Project Manager, Leah Schaffer, Architectural Designer

Construction and Millwork: Woodhull of Maine

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