Located in Kawartha Lakes, Canada, Lake Cottage (2013) by UUfie | The Hardt
Located in Kawartha Lakes, Canada, Lake Cottage (2013) by UUfie. Lake Cottage is a reinterpretation of living in a tree house where nature is an integral part of the building. In a forest of birch and spruce trees along the Kawartha Lakes, the cottage is designed as a two-story, multi-use space for a large family. The structure composed of a 7m high A-frame pitch roof covered in black steel and charred cedar siding. A deep cut in the building volume creates a cantilevered overhang for a protected outdoor terrace with mirrors to further give the illusion of the building containing the forest inside.
This mixture of feeling between nature and building continued into the interior. The main living space is design as a self-contained interior volume, while the peripheral rooms are treated as part of the building site. Fourteen openings into this grand living space reveal both inhabited spaces, skies, and trees, equally treated and further articulated with edges finishes of interior panel kept raw to show the inherent nature of materials used. This abstract nature of the interior spaces allows imagination to flow, and those spaces that could be identified as a domestic interior can suddenly become play spaces. A solid timber staircase leads to a loft which has the feeling of ascending into tree canopies as sunlight softy falls on a wall covered in fish-scaled shingle stained in light blue.
Using local materials and traditional construction methods, the cottage incorporated sustainable principles. The black wood cladding of exterior is a technique of charring cedar that acts as a natural agent against termite and fire. Thick walls and roof provide high insulation value, a central wood hearth provides heat and deep recessed windows and skylights provide natural ventilation and lighting. Lake Cottage is designed with interior and exterior spaces connected fluidly and repeat the experience of living within the branches of a tree.
Williams Studio (2007) by gh3 located in Ennismore, Canada | The Hardt
Williams Studio (2007) by gh3 located in Ennismore, Canada. The 1,800 ft² (167 m²) is a photographer’s studio over a boathouse on Stony Lake is a re-imagination of the archetypal glass house in a landscape in the Canadian Shield. A continuation of thinking about this architectural ambition, the central concept of the house is reconceived through a contemporary lens of sustainability, program, site, and amenity. The compelling qualities of simple, open spaces; interior and exterior unity and material clarity are transformed to enhance the environmental and programmatic performance of the building, creating the architecture of both iconic resonance and innovative context-driven design. The program envisions a building as north–facing window: a photographer’s live/work studio and film location that is continuously bathed in diffuse and undiminished natural light. The transparent facade—a curtain wall glazed in low-iron glass—becomes the essential element in a photographic apparatus to produce images unobtainable in a conventional studio. The availability and fidelity of north–facing light in the double-height space provide the photographer with unparalleled natural illumination, while the clarity of the glazing transforms the site and surrounding vistas into a sublime, ever-changing backdrop.
The compact glass form sits at the water’s edge on a granite plinth whose matte black facade dematerializes to suspend the building, lantern-like, on the site. The granite’s thermal mass exploits the abundant solar input, eliminating the need for active systems on winter days, while the lakefront site allows the use of a deep-water exchange to heat and cool the building year-round through radiant slabs and recessed perimeter louvers at the floor and ceiling. Sliding panes in the glass skin—three meters wide at the ground floor, and one and a half meters wide on the mezzanine floor—allow the facade to become completely porous for natural ventilation, while an individually automated blind system, white roof, and deciduous hedgerow guard against excessive solar gain. The continuous blind system additionally serves as a second aesthetic skin, transforming the interior into an enclosed, intimate space, and the exterior into a gently reflective mirror of the surroundings.
Entry into the site is facilitated through a minimalist landscape that deploys endogenous materials while leaving the greatest portion of the site in its evocative, glacier-scoured state. A simple granite plinth serves as a threshold for the south-facing entrance, where solid program functions and vertical circulation are arranged in a narrow, efficient volume. From the outset, the goal was to accommodate the client’s needs within a small footprint. Domestic functions are integrated into a furniture-like mezzanine assembly suspended above the main space, where bedroom, bathroom, and closet are coextensive, and sliding fritted glass allows the whole to be concealed from the rest of the space. Throughout the upper and lower levels, interior partitions are clad with seamless white lacquered panels whose reflective qualities diffuse light into every part of the interior and create complex layered views through space. Set to be built in the spring of 2010, a lightweight aluminum curvilinear structure guarded by the low-iron glass will be constructed at level with the house. This freestanding structure will serve as an outdoor living platform.
Located in Lac-Beauport, Canada, Villa Vingt (2017) by Bourgeois / Lechasseur Architects
The Villa Vingt is anchored on a sloping site next to the ski resort Le Relais. The upper ground offers a magnificent view of the Laurentian hills and Lac-Beauport’s residential area. The project builds on the existing foundations of the client’s home in order to retain some acquired rights. The owners know the site’s qualities very well for having lived there many years. The project is inspired by the site and its accentuated relief. Level 1 acts as a base; it leans against the ground and opens up completely to the north. The upper floor seems to float above the concrete ground floor.
The living areas are cantilevered to create unique painting-like views. The maximized fenestration offers an unobstructed view of the mountain landscape. The roof overhangs stretch over the exterior decks. The access road below ensures the privacy of living spaces despite the generous fenestration. As we approach the house, we discover the richness of the white cedar ceiling covering the upper floor. This warm material expands beneath the roofs to emphasize the continuity between the interior and exterior. Volumes and materials unite to create a distinctive entrance. The sloped roof integrates the project into its built environment in a respectful way.
The geometry of the volume and the choice of window positions create surprising atmospheres that change according to interior functions. The dining room’s zenithal skylight offers an elegant view of the treetops and allows indirect light to play on the cedar laths. The central concrete wall gives the project verticality. Its rough finish shows the marks left by the formwork. The staircase next to it reveals its richness through the duality of the authentic materials surrounding it, namely concrete and steel. This home creates a strong presence in the panorama. The interaction between volumes and the main façade’s horizontality is reminiscent of some California villas.
Yan House (2014) by D’Arcy Jones Architecture, located in Vancouver, BC, Canada | The Hardt
Yan House (2014) by D’Arcy Jones Architecture, located in Vancouver, BC, Canada. This volumetric house wraps itself around a progression of four yards, fluctuating in size and introduction. Intended to accentuate a contemporary Canadian craftsmanship gathering, the patios additionally permit light and air profound into the house’s inside, while protecting the inhabitants from street clamor. Materials and completes stream inside-outside, making an emotional arrangement of spaces that shape the site’s delicate Vancouver light.
Photo Credit: Ema Peters
Aesthetically and Geographically Related Projects:
La Grande Passerelle (2016) by Atelier Pierre Thibault located in Shawinigan, Canada | The Hardt
La Grande Passerelle (2016) by Atelier Pierre Thibault located in Shawinigan, Canada. La Grande passerelle is designed for a young family wishing to enjoy a peaceful lifestyle on the shores of a scenic lake in Quebec, Canada. Two volumes of wood anchored against a gentle slope generate a luminous inner courtyard delimited by the forest. The first, acting as a screen to the street, contains a luminous training room, located under the garage, which overlooks the private courtyard.
Below, a second volume comprising the rooms seems to float above the fully fenestrated ground floor. The connection between the two volumes of wood is made by a large footbridge which penetrates the interior spaces of the house and projects itself towards the lake. The visitors reach the residence by the upper floor to discover step by step the living room, the kitchen and finally the lower level that opens generously on the backyard and the dock. The play of transparency connect the different rooms of the house to the lake that the family can contemplate from all places.
Located in Canada, Private Residence and Guest House in the Laurentian Mountains by Saucier Perrotte | The Hardt
Located in Canada, Private Residence and Guest House in the Laurentian Mountains by Saucier Perrotte. This residence and guest house is located near the ski hills of Mont Tremblant. Pierced in a singular gesture by an oblique interior stair, the main house consists of three bedrooms, living areas, a sauna, a transformable recreation room, and, typical of the region’s cottages, a screened outdoor living room. The residence, composed of three superimposed volumes aligned with an entrance-level pool, is placed within a fold in the landscape, creating an intimate exterior space framed by the north façade and a three-meter-high rock outcrop. This location allows for several advantages in terms of exposure to the sun, wind, and the public realm.
Erosion seems to have caused the blocks to glide laterally, slightly out of synch with each other, yet together forming a harmonious, clear composition. Analogous to the other building blocks, the guest house is envisaged as a fourth prism that has slid westward. The pool deck, between the residence and guest house, affords a sense of enclosure while providing a breathtaking panorama of the rolling mountains. Due to the dramatic slope of the site, two of the volumes of the main house is visible from the entry; the three stacked blocks are only perceived once inside or from the lower portion of the site.
The design draws from the elements belonging to the site: its topography, rock formations, trees, ground cover. Local building traditions (i.e., the log house) are reinterpreted and revealed through chromatic and textural exploration. The house’s surfaces respond to the wooded site, where the verticality of the trees and tones of grey, brown, and green predominate. Echoing the dense context, the north façade is composed of rough-cut wood strips whose irregular spacing permits partially-hidden slit windows. The south façade is open to forest panorama, and the screened porch, seemingly caught between the three overlapping volumes, provides an outdoor living room perched over the wooded landscape.
Luminous interior volumes in translucent or opaque white – at times showing traces of underlying wood grain – maintain volumetric clarity. “’Rooms” find themselves somewhere between flowing and compartmentalized, offering the occupants multipurpose or interpretive spaces. The interior and exterior finishes acknowledge the craft of local building trades and complement the precise geometric form with elements of nature and roughness.
Photos by Marc Cramer, Gilles Saucier
Aesthetically and Geographically Related Projects:
Located in Montreal city, Canada, The Beaumont House (2011) by Henri Cleinge | The Hardt
Located in Montreal city, Canada, The Beaumont House (2011) by Henri Cleinge. Inspired to create a home to be experienced by all five senses, the Beaumont concrete house evolved as an exploration project. The design, understated, is situated in a mixed-use neighborhood where residential duplexes coexist with small to midsize industrial buildings. Despite the project’s integration, a number of features distinguish the project from other buildings in the area. In contrast to the superimposed typology of apartment units located on the ground floor and second floor, the Beaumont house challenges this spatial composition by creating a modular square plan where one unit is situated on the ground and second floor, and a second unit is located on the second and third floor. This spatial tour de force is a response to the program and sun movement, allowing each unit exposure to three orientations rather than two and to take full advantage of southern sunlight.
The house most noticeable feature, however, is the fact that nearly all exterior walls are built out of concrete exposed to the interior and the outside, with insulation in the middle. Combining rich primary materials to large modular square volumes filled with an abundance of natural light, the house contains a series of framed experiences. The central space is the largest volume where a double height living room is defined by concrete and wood surfaces which foil off each other. The softness of the walnut cabinetry and the cedar ceiling contrast the hard textured concrete walls. The pallet of materials is reduced and disciplined. Cedar ceilings and concrete floors are used throughout. Secondary elements such as Walnut furniture with black granite surfaces are also featured