The cottage season has officially started and if you’ve been dreaming of building or renovating a property on your piece of the Northern Ontario lakefront paradise, this will inspire you. Designed by MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects, this new four-season cottage replaced an existing 1950’s structure of a Toronto family of five. The goal was to blend with the rural character of the quiet lake community and provide a clean modern environment that engages the landscape and captures a ‘cottage’ feel. The site is located on Clear Lake in Seguin Township, Ontario with a large frontage and an existing dock. Oriented predominately to the east collecting warmth and direct light in the morning, the house sits quietly behind trees away from the water.
The family wanted all the benefits of modern design: clean lines, abundant natural light, connection with the outdoors. But they also wanted to blend contextually with the character and humility of the surroundings. Nestled within a forest, the house is sculpted and stepped to take advantage of the land, modeling the natural grade. Open and closed faces respond to shoreline views or quiet wooded depths. Taking cues from the client’s fondness for Scandinavian fishing shacks, with their pine tar-painted cedar, the building is clad in black corrugated metal, a cost effective North American interpretation of this shoreline aesthetic. The result is decidedly modern, but raw and industrial, too.
The cottage consists of four areas: Master Suite, Bedrooms, Utility/Den and Living Space. These areas were arranged in terms of degree of privacy required – north to south. It was then determined which spaces would have forest views and which would have lake views. The roof peak creates a sleeping loft, and enhances the communal space. The plan aligns a series of large sliding windows for summer cross ventilation and the tent-like ‘big top’ of the Douglas Fir interior has three exterior spaces carved into it to create sheltered outdoor areas. Nothing to do but sit back, relax and take in the beautiful scenery. Are you inspired yet?
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