MANITOUWABING LAKE COTTAGE
MANITOUWABING LAKE COTTAGE A Toronto family required a new four-season cottage to replace their existing 1930â€™s structure. Located on a west-facing peninsula with optimal southern exposure, the goal was to maximize outdoor living and entertaining space. An interlocking floor plan allowed for indoor spaces to support the central outdoor living space as a weather protected microclimate extending its seasonal use. The definitively modern structure was designed to cascade and hover over grade, blending with the landscape as a quiet presence from the water.
THE PROJECT WAS DEVELOPED AROUND THE
GOAL OF ENHANCED OUTDOOR LIVING AND
The site’s orientation is south and west, collecting warmth, light and views throughout the day. The building sits low on the land and steps along its length to connect with the landscape. The building sits quietly back from the water behind a stand of archetypal pines. The flat roof bungalow shelters both indoor and outdoor living spaces and presents two dominant relationships based on orientation – transparent and open to the south west, opaque and protected to the north east. The main living and eating areas backstop the length of the outdoor space and is oriented directly to a view of the spring and fall equinox sunsets which disappear precisely into an open channel between two islands at the far side of the lake. A bar of bedrooms is located along the private portion of the site opening out to a southern lagoon, affording east morning light and oblique lake views.
SOCIAL GATHERING, “CAN YOU DESIGN A CANADIAN COTTAGE WHERE FRANK SINATRA MIGHT LIKE TO HANG OUT?”
A rectangular plan is carved to create interlocking outdoor terrace and courtyard spaces featuring an expansive and levitating lake deck and screened porch. Extensive flat roofs recall warmer latitude mid-century precedents and float outward to frame the quintessential Canadian shield horizon. The greater plan has a clear singularity with its opaque outer shell retaining the intimacy and humility of cottage vernacular. At the heart of the design is a central courtyard, featuring a uniquely clefted rock, curated to speak to the power of its place as well as its affinity to the project’s design parti. A large screened porch has three sides of retractable insect screen – wide open or bug-free – dependent on season. The plan is divided into three eastwest program bars with public living placed on the south west, and private living on the north east. A ‘sharkfin’ clerestory roof captures morning light to internal rooms.
The cottage is designed to take advantage of passive heating and cooling orientations and to create a shelter outdoor microclimate. Deep overhangs and large glazed areas on the south and west were modelled to protect from solar build up in summer and allow for heating gains in winter. North and East faces are heavily opaque, minimally articulated, and highly insulated to protect from winds and heat loss. Operable windows on all sides are designed for cross ventilation and passive cooling. Concrete radiant floor heating contributes to energy conservation and creates a heat sinks through the day and night. A high efficiency boiler, HRV, and convection wood stove reduce overall energy consumption. A taught envelope design, R-35 roof, and low-E glazing maximize performance. The building reuses the clearing of the existing cottage and careful tree protection minimizes tree loss.
The project strives to embraces outdoor living and extend it through the seasons. In doing this it generates a formal response driven by the site and a clear client driven goal creating highly social and healthy outdoor space. In doing this it develops and reconciles the buildingâ€™s formal language with the requirements of the site and orientation. It provides clean lines, abundant light, and connection with nature while achieving a humble and contextual form that harmonizes with its context.
The clients were conscious of their connection with the land and the health and wellness benefits afforded from outdoor living. The design focused on the following goals: a low and stepping siting, large percentage of operable windows, maximized wood finishes and cladding, a simple yet bold exterior, sheltered space within the building roofs, and solar modeling - all aspects conspired to create a fluid indoor/outdoor space and a greater connection with nature.
2 Utility/ Mud Room 3 WC
4 Kitchen/ Dining
5 Living 6 Den
7 Master Suite 8 Bedroom 9 Screened Porch 10 Deck/ Terrace
11 Pantry/ Storage 12 Garage
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