A Lakeside Pavilion Perfect for a Party
This lakeside locale gets an upgrade with an independent structure built with fun times in mind
When it comes to Montana real estate it’s hard to beat a property on Whitefish Lake, where the cool, clean water is a welcome habitat for smallmouth bass, swimmers and boaters alike.
A Los Angeles couple certainly knew it when they snapped up an original 1940s cabin and an adjoining property, and then called on architect Nick Fullerton to renovate the two-bedroom structure. But while the refurbished residence oozed charm, it lacked adequate space for hosting gatherings, and lakeshore setbacks prohibited an addition.
Cue Fullerton again, who shares that “the homeowners wanted a separate modern structure—where they could get together with friends and family—that would complement the cabin and any future house they might build on the adjacent land.”
Elegant in its simplicity and situated just steps from the cabin, the ensuing concrete pavilion immediately satisfied the couple’s indoor and outdoor entertaining requirements. “I came up with the idea of one material for the roof, walls and ceiling all held up by glass,” says Fullerton about the stand-alone piece that will work with whatever they build in the future.
Meanwhile, detail-oriented builder Jason Jordt of the Vandelay Group executed things like the post-tensioning of the 24-inch-thick concrete roof spanning 27 feet.
Inside, the efficient floor plan includes comfy seating, a kitchen designed to handle impromptu barbecues and a shower room for après lake activity cleanup. Just beyond the covered portion, an outdoor lounging area steps down to the water and a built-in fire pit and hot tub warm guests when the sun goes down.
“The indoor sofas are outdoor furniture and the four chairs are durable leather,” shares interior designer Heidi Tate, who adopted a low-maintenance mantra when she stepped in to outfit the spaces. “They didn’t want to be babysitting any of the finishes, and it all needed to be wet-bathing-suit friendly.”
Porcelain floors, concrete countertops and clear alder cabinets, the latter intentionally not extending to the ceiling so the concrete above is exposed, check all the boxes. “We tried to leave the materials in a natural state,” she adds.
Everything from the frosted glass doors in the shower room to the clean lines of the outdoor loungers complements the unpretentious architecture. And when rain showers come, the good times continue indoors: What appear to be three identical photos of the lake hanging above the sink wall are actually a trio of TVs poised for game and movie viewing.