A cost-effective modular retreat embraces the landscape on a Lake Superior island in Wisconsin.

The Week’nder was constructed from two prefabricated modules.

With its inviting sandy shores and pristine forests, Wisconsin’s Madeline Island on Lake Superior has long been renowned as a summer destination. Yet high costs of construction due to its remote location have put off many from owning an island home. 

Undeterred by challenges, a St. Paul family desirous of a weekend retreat tapped Minneapolis–based Lazor / Office and MSR Architects for a more affordable prefab solution.

The exterior is coated in Sherwin Williams Solid Wood stain.

The exterior is coated in Sherwin Williams Solid Wood stain.

George Heinrich

Since the sliver-shaped island is only accessible by ferry, neither a crane nor concrete construction could be used on the project due to the prohibitively expensive costs. 

Instead of relying on traditional building methods, the architects worked with Mast Construction to prefabricate two modules, the dimensions of which were determined by the size of the ferry.



The prefabricated modules were loaded onto a truck and transported to the island via ferry.

The prefabricated modules were loaded onto a truck and transported to the island via ferry.

George Heinrich

The use of elevated posts minimized foundation concrete and bottle jacks negated the need for a crane. The heating, plumbing, and electrical supply were pre-installed to minimize labor on the island, along with elements of the kitchen and bathroom.

The three-bedroom home's gabled roof mimics the shape of a tent.

The three-bedroom home’s gabled roof mimics the shape of a tent.

George Heinrich

See the full story on Dwell.com: This Prefab Cabin Offers an Affordable Answer to Island Construction

©