Nestled into the trees, Scott McGlasson's cabin looks as if it were always part of the hill that overlooks Little Pequaywan Lake. But the rustic retreat 30 miles north of Duluth wasn't built on-site. It was constructed in a factory and trucked to the half-acre property in two pieces, then assembled on concrete footings with the help of a crane -- all in one day.

McGlasson decided on the 800-square-foot cabin because it was spare and compact. "It was attractive to me because it's a reaction to the typical excess of what lake cabins have become in the past 20 years or so," he said.

The prefab lake home, assembled in 2005, is one of architect Geoffrey Warner's weeHouses, a line of modular structures with functional, efficient spaces that are economical to build.

"We want to make high-quality modern design accessible for a wide range of people and their budgets," said Warner, of Alchemy Architects in St. Paul.

The cabin, Warner's second weeHouse design, became a model for future projects. Warner has designed 20 weeHouses, which range from larger urban dwellings to a "net zero" home in Utah that generates as much energy as it uses.

The cabin's unique design attracted plenty of attention. It was featured in a New York Times article about small, efficient houses. And a model of the cabin was on display at a Walker Art Center exhibit on prefab houses.

McGlasson, a furniture maker, helped with the assembly of the two-story cabin and did most of the finishing work. He also built the exterior ship's ladder that leads to a rooftop deck and to the second bedroom, as well as a freestanding sauna.

Inside, the rectangular-shaped main floor has two walls composed of glass and another lined with birch Ikea cabinets. McGlasson's handcrafted "rustic modern" furniture, including a birch bed and walnut coffee table, is also for sale.

McGlasson said his family will miss the trips to the wee cabin, with its treetop views of the lake. But he's looking for land closer to the Twin Cities.

"It's bittersweet to sell it," he said. "Last weekend we paddled down the Little Cloquet river and caught some fish."


John Doberstein of Edina Realty has the listing; 1-218-728-7703.

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