Rierson Cabin: A Guest House in the Heart of Nature

Would you love to stay in a guest house that gives you the feeling of being “at home”? For sure, you would! Our house feature today is a guest house made for the extended family and friends of the homeowner. It sits on a granite cliff overlooking Lake Superior located in Tofte, Minnesota. The Rierson Cabin has open gathering space, sleeping areas and bathing functions on each level. The grade level has a kitchen, living, dining with a bedroom, bath and a mechanical room. The upper level of the house comprised or a gathering/game room, master bedroom, bath and sauna which is extended to the loft level with the paved roof as a gathering area.

This loft offers a perfect place for relaxation as it gives a lovely view of the night sky and creates effective stack of ventilation to cool the cabin. This house has multi-levels that give it a dramatic look with different elevations. You can see that on how the windows are placed. The windows on the main level rest on the exterior decks, the upper level windows rest on the green roof terrace while the loft level’s glazed door are opening to the roof terrace. The guest house is built on existing foundations for a previous garage and an area where a defunct wind generator was located. But this did not hinder the Salmela Architect to create a house as cozy as what we are about to see below:

Rierson Cabin Exterior

With plants and trees around it, this guest house really has created a special bond with nature. From a distance, the house when lighted at night looks like a peeping structure of flaring beauty!

Salmela Architect

Materials used for the house are seen here with the black exterior cladding, wood, glass and masonry.

Tofte, Minnesota

The entrance of the house is a welcoming sight especially with all these lovely lights.

Lake Superior

You can see that the flooring is elevated from the ground with stone stairs and wooden decking.

Rierson Cabin

Another view of the deck showing the large windows that add ventilation to the house.


Wood is extensively used in the interior from the ceiling walls and even to wall partitions.


Glass walls surround the house giving the guests a better view of nature.


Look at that beautiful modern fireplace! It is indeed a perfect addition to this space especially that it adds warmth to it.


The dining area is a small space located just beside the living room. Note the cabinets on the side that are made of wood.


The kitchen has black countertop with wooden cabinets which looks perfect in the house.


åç This hallway leads to a comfortable bedroom with white beddings and wooden interior.


The facade of the house is clearly seen here since the trees are no longer there to cover it.


From a distance, you can see the different levels of the house.

 Floor Plan

The floor plan showing the different areas of Rierson Cabin including the roof terrace.


Get a better view of the house through this elevations.

Rierson Cabin

What you see now is the cross-section revealing what we can see inside.

The Salmela Architects pointed out that, “All materials were selected to age with dignity. The smoothness of the maintenance-free black exterior cladding contrasts with the whitewashed masonry texture and naturally-aging wood surfaces. The consistency of minimal-maintenance materials continues on the interior with fir and birch surfaces. In addition to the visual warmth, the cabin is designed for superior thermal comfort with minimal energy use through the use of super-insulated walls, triple-glazed high performance windows and thermal-bridge-free insulation details for the floors above the existing foundation. The new garage is designed to act as structure and armature for future solar panels.” The designers really planned well for this house seen not just in its architecture but even for the materials used in the construction of Rierson Cabin.