Bala Park Island

Bala Park Island

Altius Architecture, Inc.
Lake Muskoka, Canada
Project Year
Private Houses

Bala Park Island

Altius Architecture, Inc. as Architects


As with all our cottage work the site had a major influence on the design. The main level of the building nestles up against a distinct granite ridge. The ridge provides a perfect landing for the second level which anchors the building back on to the Canadian shield. The landing for the upper level walks out to a path that follows the ridge to a future bunkie. The design is a simple roof line that tilts upwards revealing the ridge through clerestory windows. The floor levels follow the slope varying the interior ceiling heights. The exposed Douglas Fir roof joists provide a continuous rhythm across the entire ground floor ceiling.

Being a seasonal dwelling our main concern was keeping the building cool in the summer and providing an economical and sustainable means of providing enough heat during the early spring and late fall to keep the cottage comfortable. High clerestory windows induce a lakeside draft to vent the summer heat. A Tempcast masonry heater burning at over 90% efficiency provides radiant heat.

Altius Project Team Architecture: Tony Round, Trevor McIvor Construction Management: Tony Round, Trevor McIvor

Project Partners: Engineering: CUCCO engineering + design, Toronto Construction: Dyer Contracting, Port Carling

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