A year round cottage minutes from Georgian Bay in Meaford, Ontario, this house derives its form and space from the simplicity of a traditional gabled dogtrot, a typology familiar in the southern US, but less so in northern climates. With the sleeping areas to one side of the breezeway, and the living to the other, the 16foot square opening in the centre of the house provides the Owner with an outdoor living room that keeps them intimately engaged in their environment.
The cottage sits at the edge of a clearing, closing off the one side that was previously open to the wetlands, but closing it in such a way as to allow the breezeway to frame the view the Owner has long held from the bunkie they built on the property years ago.
The land slopes upwards from the clearing, through the breezeway, and down through vegetable gardens and to the wetlands beyond. The Owner’s intimacy with the landscape is primary.
With an interior almost entirely of birch plywood and white oak flooring, it is a spare wooden container in the Ontario woods. The exterior of the house is horizontal untreated tongue and groove cedar boards left to weather to a silver grey. The roof is corrugated steel.
A small two-room outbuilding was built at the edge of the Owner’s pond. The outbuilding consists of a storage shed and a sauna, both anchored to a similar central breezeway.
What was the brief?
The client had charged us with using the dogtrot typology - a strategy I've been fascinated by for years - as a means of connecting them with the land they've owned and loved for years.
Project size - 1600 ft2
Completion date - 2014
Building levels - 1