House Crush

When It Was Time To Rebuild, They Went Smaller

We’re crushing on this 1,035-square-foot MDI camp with an outsize view.

Small camp on Mount Desert Island's Long Pond by WMH Architects

For 100 years, the family that owns this camp has maintained a “humble presence” on Mount Desert Island’s Long Pond, says William Hanley, of Northeast Harbor’s WMH Architects. So when they enlisted him to reimagine their rickety 1920s structure, they weren’t looking to make a splash. Given the backdrop of Acadia National Park’s rounded, bald-top peaks, “it would be a travesty to not have that quiet presence,” Hanley says. Instead, he shrunk the footprint slightly, landing on a 1,035-square-foot shed-roofed building — realized by Bar Harbor contractor Brian D. Shaw — with a wall of nine-foot-tall windows trained on the park. Concrete footings allow surging water to flow beneath the camp, and silvery pine siding gives the impression of a house spawned from the rocky shoreline. Hanley’s streamlined approach won over his clients and his peers at the Maine chapter of the American Institute of Architects, which gave the project top honors in its 2020 Design Awards’ “under $250,000” category.

Small camp on Mount Desert Island's Long Pond by WMH Architects