A prime example of beautiful modern usage of a historical material, ‘Lucky Pines’ is the home of architect Jill Neubauer, located in Hatchville, Massachusetts. This Cape Cod complex of contemporary rustic buildings takes inspiration from Jill’s grandparents’ log cabin in Northern Wisconsin. Jill and her husband Steve, a landscape architect, integrated the site’s native Eastern White Pine trees into the design and structure of the cabin. Volume XXVII, Issue II of the White Pine Series of Architectural Monographs takes a closer look at the home, its incorporation of sustainable and renewable pine, and its special interplay with the landscape.
Steve himself cut down, peeled and dried pines from the site before reinstalling them as part of the home’s structural system. The process was more than a little tricky – particularly because the task of peeling pines becomes much more difficult in the fall season, when the trees have built up layers of tissue called cambium. They also cut, milled and kiln-dried trees for use as the flooring. The results were clearly worth it.
“Using the white pine for aesthetic, sentimental and contextual reasons, this house is rooted in its site, it actually came from the trees,” says Jill. “When one visits the site, the entire project makes sense. It is very grounded.”
“This modern log cabin utilizes mature pine trees as structural columns for its three floors. The columns are paired with exposed framing and steel beams. Knotty pine walls contrast with colored plaster walls, which derive their colors from site elements – green pine needles, rusty pine needles, and lake sand. Throughout the house, raw materials are counter-balanced by the warmth of the pine, colored plaster and furnishings.”