Want to Really Capture the View? Try a Cabin Tower
Cabin Life Left Header Ad

Want to Really Capture the View? Try a Cabin Tower

Story by Mark R. Johnson 
Photos Compiled by Christine Strom
Tower cabins come in all shapes, sizes and configurations – each with a unique story.  But they all have one thing in common: They're designed to capture the view. Like a treehouse that lifts us up into the rare air of the tree canopy, tower cabins elevate our perspective, giving us a birdseye or squirrels-eye view of our surroundings – the much-loved woods, lakes, rivers or oceans outside our cabins.
And they're all different. Some are designed like a forest ranger's fire lookout. Some towers are attached to the cabin, while others stand alone, commonly serving as guesthouses or bunkhouses. A few are designed for children. Some are new, but some are steeped in history. Regardless of the type of tower, enjoy the view!
Here are a few of our favorite cabin tower ideas:


Photos by Ben Benschneider
This family retreat is located on Dabob Bay off of Washington's Hood Canal, Olympic Peninsula. Completed in 2008, the post-and-beam getaway is situated on a ridge, with ravines on three sides. And the architect designed the home so that its three elements – the entry, the great room and the sleeping tower – follow that meandering ridge. The tower offers a dramatic experience, reaching high above the cascading ravines below. And the top level of the tower (see photo below) conveys a 360-degree view of the surroundings.
Architect: Greg Bjarko, Bjarko Serra Architects


Photo courtesy Sue Beach, www.thewildernesslodge.com.
This Minnesota northwoods log tower was built in 1931 to support a large wooden water tank that supplied water to a resort. The renovated tower now serves as a guest cabin, complete with a small deck, futon, bed and writing desk.


Photo courtesy of the architect: Kees Architecture, LLC, www.keesarchitecture.com
This tower was designed to give the cabin owners’ daughters a retreat space of their own. The 144-square-foot sleeping porch has an interior ladder leading to a stargazing platform above.


Photos by Roger Wade Studios
Built in 1995, this tower is not a secondary building, it is the family cabin. Located in Finley Point, Mont., the tower cabin is used for gatherings with extended family and friends. Architect Kevin Gordon designed the two-story cabin with wraparound windows in order to capture views of nearby Flathead Lake and the surrounding Montana wilderness. Gordon's chief inspiration here was Frank Lloyd Wright, as reflected in the cabin's low-pitched roof with a long overhang, Prairie-style windows, wood siding, open floor plan, rich interior woodwork, exposed wood beams in the ceiling, and Arts and Crafts furnishings.

Tower built by Gordon Construction
*Editor's Note: This story was originally published in the August 2011 edition of Cabin Living magazine and has since been updated.

Editor's Picks

All products featured are carefully reviewed and selected by our editors. As an Amazon Associate, we earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

Subscribe Now + Get 2 Free Gifts!