Rental of the week: Gunflint Lake Cabin in Minnesota

Where to watch the leaves turn this autumn

This award-winning lakeside dwelling by VJAA puts a subtle twist on the traditional cabin.

The two-storey structure – which sits beside Minnesota’s Gunflint Lake – was built in 2010, earning the practice an Honor Award from AIA Minnesota for its simple, compact design.

Surrounded by cedar trees, the Gunflint Lake Cabin features a vast glass facade that looks out onto the waterfront, and is clad in a black metal skin to protect it from the Mid-West’s extreme seasons.

Don’t be fooled though, the building’s stark exterior belies its warm interior spaces, which are cocooned in knotted pine. Communal living areas – heated by a cosy wood burning stove and outfitted with bespoke cabinetry – and three bedrooms occupy the building’s upper level. Canoes and sports equipment are stashed in the storage port below, and there’s a private sauna adjacent.

Photography: Courtesy of Plans Matter
Photography: Courtesy of Plans Matter / VJAA

Gunflint Lake Cabin has no internet, television or phone reception, making it perfect for a digital detox. Distractions are of the natural kind: here you can watch the autumn colour change, and go apple picking, hiking, fishing or wildlife watching. In winter, it’s an ideal bolthole for snowshoeing and skiing.

And should you fancy venturing further afield, the cabin – available to rent via Plans Matter – is an hour and a half’s drive from the Canadian border…

Read next: Rent a steel-clad cabin in Nova Scotia by Brian MacKay-Lyons

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