We are honored our Crane Island project was awarded Best Traditional New Construction in the Juried Marvin Architects Challenge. The project was selected by three nationally acclaimed jurors as a winner from among the 169 projects submitted.

For over 100 years, Crane Island has been a summer destination for a few fortunate Minnesota families who move to cooler lake communities for the season. Desiring a return to this lifestyle, our clients intend to spend long summer weekends there. The island is small, with only about 20 cottages—most of which were built early in the last century. “There are few places left in our world where the sense of time standing still seems to exist. Being in the clearing on Crane Island is one of those moments of pure timelessness,” Heide says. “The challenge for us was to create a new house that would look 100 years old the day it was finished.”

Photos of project architect Mark Nelson accepting Best Traditional New Construction for the Marvin Architects Challenge at the AIA Convention in Philadelphia.


The judges commented that “in keeping with the cottage tradition of the homes on this Minnesota island this “retreat” fits in perfectly. From the porch, to the second story dormers, to the stone fireplace, it has that cottage charm and an understated yet appealing architecture with bands of windows that let nature pour in to its equally charming interior.”

See photos of Crane Island Retreat, our award-winning project.