Altius Architecture's primary design goal for this seasonal dwelling on Lake Muskoka in Ontario, Canada was to make the home comfortable and efficient. The Toronto-based firm nestled the Bala Park Island cabin against a granite ridge and gave it lots of windows to take in views and soak up the sun. Energy-efficient design strategies ensure the home is warm in the spring and fall and cool in the summer without using much power.
The Bala Park Island cabin is a 3 bedroom, 2,200 sq ft seasonal home near Lake Muskoka in Ontario, Canada. Altius Architecture handled the design and construction management of the home. The site played a major role in the design of the home, which is separated into two sides – a public and open kitchen, dining and living area and a side with private bedrooms. A simple roof line rises up to clerestory windows with views of the nearby ridge. Exposed Douglas Fir roof joists provide a continuous rhythm across the entire ground floor ceiling and echo the forest surrounding the home.
Orientation and passive solar design were the first strategies put in place to reduce energy use. As it is a seasonal dwelling not used during the winter months, the goal was to keep the building cool in the summer and provide an economical and sustainable means of providing enough heat during the early spring and late fall. Large roof overhangs and natural ventilation keeps the home cool. For heating, the home uses a Contraflow Masonry Heater, an advanced wood heating system that burn at over 90% efficiency and provides radiant heat on demand. The home also makes use of renewable materials and finishes, non-toxic materials, low energy lighting, a solar hot water system, and water-efficient fixtures and appliances.
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