AL Design Journal

AL Design Journal

Grist Mill Cabin: A Serene Creation by modus studio

The Grist Mill Cabin gracefully sits on a spacious three-acre plot overlooking Beaver Lake in Northwest Arkansas. Its thoughtfully crafted architecture comprises various sections that were carefully planned to minimize disruption to the surrounding hillside and vegetation.

Grist Mill Cabin

By utilizing metal panelling and locally sourced Arkansas Cypress, the design not only blends harmoniously with the environment but also offers abundant room for families and visitors to come together.

This deconstructed lake house style seamlessly merges with nature, allowing for breathtaking views while upholding a deep sense of reverence for the land.

Details- Grist Mill Cabin

ArchitectsModus studio
Area2505 ft²
PhotographsTimothy Hursley
ManufacturersSherwin-Williams, Central States Manufacturing, Emser Tile, James Hardie, Pinnacle Windows & Doors
Lead Architects: Chris M. Baribeau, AIA
Project ManagerMichael Pope, AIA
Principal / Director Of FabricationJason Wright, Assoc. AIA
Designer / FabricatorJake Mullins, Assoc. AIA
CountryUnited States
Detail and images of the site provided byArchitect

Design factor

The residence is meticulously positioned, taking into account the scenic vistas, intrinsic natural elements, and the lay of the land.

02 6

The design journey involved a thorough examination of possibilities to occupy the iconic Ozark hillside while prioritizing the preservation of trees and minimizing any disruption to the soil. The expansive floor plan fully embraces the seamless connection between the indoors and outdoors.

A straightforward yet elegant selection of materials, including authentic cypress and sleek corrugated metal, is artfully combined in a contemporary style that perfectly complements lakeside living.

The interiors made by this Design Studio

The approach to the house begins with an angular bridge that gracefully descends from the hillside, leading to a covered deck arranged in a dogtrot configuration.

interiors made by this Design Studio

This unique layout creates a harmonious interplay of spaces, where carefully placed constellation lighting highlights the inviting warmth of the cypress surfaces while framing a breathtaking view of the lake.

Deliberately situated adjacent to the main living area, the deck ensures that both areas can enjoy uninterrupted vistas without competing for attention from the hillside perch.

From the sheltered deck, one can either venture southwest towards the guest bedroom pods and continue on to explore the trail and lake, or head northeast into the central living, kitchen, and dining area.

Beyond these social spaces, a small interior bridge provides access to the master bedroom pod—a serene oasis akin to a treehouse in the heart of the picturesque Ozarks.

The site Position

The captivating shapes of the entire residence gracefully interact with the hillside, seemingly suspended on slender steel columns, creating an air of playful elegance.

03 6

The implementation of pod-like structures enables each section of the building to adapt and adjust harmoniously to the unique characteristics of the site’s topography and surrounding plant life.

Furthermore, the organic landscape of the Ozark hillside can seamlessly flow beneath the structure, enhancing the interplay and striking juxtaposition between the man-made architectural forms and the beauty of the natural world.


In conclusion, the Grist Mill Cabin by modus studio exemplifies a harmonious blend of architectural ingenuity and respect for the surrounding environment. The careful siting of the home, taking into account the views, natural features, and topography, showcases a thoughtful approach to design.

Through an in-depth analysis, the architects were able to preserve the quintessential Ozark hillside, minimizing soil disturbance and emphasizing tree preservation.

The design of the cabin embraces a seamless indoor-outdoor connection, capitalizing on strong relationships between the interior and the picturesque surroundings. The utilization of an open layout allows for a fluid transition between spaces, encouraging a sense of unity with nature.

The choice of materials further enhances this integration, employing a simple yet rich palette of natural cypress and crisp corrugated metal. This modern composition is perfectly suited for lakeside living, evoking a contemporary aesthetic that complements the serene setting.

The entry procession to the house is carefully choreographed, guiding visitors along an angular bridge that gracefully leads to a covered deck.

Here, constellation lighting accentuates the warm cypress surfaces, framing a breathtaking view of the lake. The arrangement of spaces in a dogtrot configuration ensures that the deck and main living area coexist harmoniously, providing unobstructed panoramas of the water from the hillside perch.

Throughout the design, the pod typology shines, allowing each portion of the building to adapt and respond to the site conditions, including the topography and existing flora. This flexibility fosters a dynamic relationship between man-made forms and natural landscapes.

The slender steel columns on which the cabin seems to float further enhance this playful dance on the hillside. In essence, the Grist Mill Cabin is a testament to the integration of architectural vision and environmental sensitivity.

It stands as a serene retreat, a sanctuary nestled within the enchanting Ozark scenery. With its striking forms, thoughtful design process, and meticulous attention to detail, the cabin epitomizes the harmonious coexistence of human craftsmanship and the awe-inspiring beauty of the natural world.

Reference- Archdaily

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top