Skylark is built along the trademark long narrow axis that architect David Salmela often employs. The 22 ft. width invites nature inside and allows the interior to be fully illuminated by sunlight streaming in through the north and south walls.
The orientation of the axis takes full advantage of the site's southern exposure. The windows facing south are large, opening to the sky and sweeping views of the North Shore. Windows facing north, while plentiful, are smaller, protecting the home from winter's icy blasts.
The main floor living area is open and airy, awash with light. The tiled entry space opens west into the living room, separated from it only by an exquisite maple staircase and matching storage cabinets. The living room is separated from the dining room/kitchen by wide twin white chimneys that ascend through each level and terminate high above the roof, linking earth and sky.
The dining/kitchen area is casual, with an understated sophistication. The first quality appliances, including the side by side Dacor ovens and Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer drawers, are "hidden" in hand made maple cabinets. The breakfast counter/food preparation island includes 2 refrigerator drawers for the ultimate in convenience.
On the west end of the main floor, an office/storage area looks out over a spacious deck and, at the appointed time, the setting sun.
The main floor plan thoughtfully separates the public, social area from private family areas. East from the entry area, the axial corridor extends to a private office with windows to the south, and on the opposite side, a bathroom, and an art studio with windows facing north, east and west.
The art studio is a well of light, with 2 skylights and walls of windows spanning the main and second floors. Stairs lead from the studio's main work area to the second floor loft/meditation area-a place of tranquility from which to reflect on the defined past and a present flowing into futures yet to come.
Further east, the corridor terminates in an airy screen room and finally, a large storage room. Stairs descend from the storage room to the 800 sq. ft. mechanicals room, housing water storage tanks and the controls for the heating and plumbing systems, including controls for the solar electric and solar hot water collector systems.
Back to the entryway: the maple staircase framing one side leads upward, to successively higher views from each landing, culminating in a command view from the sun washed rooftop observation room (cupola) and open deck.
The second floor is oriented along its own corridor, opening onto bedrooms facing south and onto the studio loft looking out (north and east) and down. There are large walk-in closets and in-wall drawers and shelves for storage. High above the surrounding forest, the bedrooms have bird's eye views of Lake Superior. There are 3 bathrooms, including the luxurious master bathroom next door to the master bedroom.
The third floor, the rooftop cupola or observation room, doubles as very special sleeping space, open to the moon and stars and to the shimmering Aurora Borealis.
The three exterior decks, two on the south and west sides of the main floor and one above the roof, project into space, floating over the countryside.
Skylark is a house of wings, brought together by its central staircase and landings. It perches on its high ledge overlooking Lake Superior, remote from the world below, but embracing it from horizon to horizon.