Nature lovers will swoon over this modern family retreat in Canada. Designed by Christopher Simmonds Architect, the timber-clad cottage embraces the outdoors with large floor-to-ceiling glazing and a cantilevered living room that overlooks lakeside views. The home is partially buried into the stony Canadian Shield and is located in the Val-des-Monts district north of Ottawa.
The top-heavy retreat is split into two main volumes: the smaller lower level housing a dormitory-style bedroom and the mechanical rooms, and the larger upper level comprising two additional bedrooms at the rear and an open-plan kitchen, dining area, and living room in the cantilevered section. While the lower volume is clad in partially weathered steel to match the earthen base, the upper volume is mostly wrapped in horizontal strips of unfinished open-joint eastern white cedar to emphasize the building’s length. Both floors offer access to the outdoors with glazed sliding doors and outdoor decks. Large openings optimize natural ventilation and bring in cool air that blows off of the adjacent lake.
The interior is also lined with wood, from the wall-to-floor white oak boards to the silver maple slabs that frame the bathroom vanity. The mostly wooden palette is complemented by white surfaces. The floor-to-ceiling glazing fills the home with natural light, which reflects off the white walls and minimizes dependence on artificial lighting.
“The cottage was designed as a passage to the lakeside,” project architect Rick Shean told Dezeen. “As you approach the unassuming blank facade from the driveway, the building resembles a simple shed sitting in the forest. As you move through the cottage it gradually opens up to a full view of the lake from the cantilevered living area.”
Images via Christopher Simmonds Architect