Little House on The Prairie

A prefab cabin from architect Charlie Lazor on Madeline Island, Wis.

    Two prefab modular boxes are made into a modern getaway with a little reshaping.
    The open-air entry nods to the cabin’s connection with nature.
    The wood screen also separates the dining area and wood-burning fireplace.
    Compact sleeping berth cubbies have framed views of the backyard.
    Cedar slats in the entryway play with light and volume for a dramatic entrance.

From the architect who brought us FlatPak comes a whole new kind of prefab dwelling that’s bound to give cabin culture a double take. Charlie Lazor’s “Week’nder” is modular and minimalist, with simplicity in mind from the entire design and build process to the rustic, chic outcome. This Week’nder, designed for a client on Madeline Island, is made from two prefab modular units constructed offsite (which saves on cost and time for remote areas) that “bookend” a central stick-built home. The 1,600-square-foot structure is on a post foundation, maintaining the natural landscape—here being tall Wisconsin prairie grass (read: no lawnmower!).

“It’s about connecting the natural and the manmade,” says Lazor, who spared a roof over the front entry to open up the sky. The antithesis of a dark old cabin, the Week’nder is filled with light. Bedrooms are step-up sleeping berths where windows frame the view and white paint throws the sun around, turning each cubby into a light box of sorts. Simple materials, including pine, glass, powder-coated steel, and corrugated metal, keep things affordable, durable, and low-maintenance. An abundance of glass keeps the eye looking out. Says Lazor: “By opening up to the landscape and letting the light pour in, it’s everything that we love in modern houses while honoring the simplicity of the traditional cabin.”