The cottage replaces an old seasonal A-frame that was interesting but did not offer a reasonable opportunity for expansion or upgrade for year round use. The structure was however, dismantled by hand in order to salvage the long Douglas Fir lumber. The site is very unique and represents a prime example of the exposed glacial formed Canadian Shield that gives this area it’s unique identity. The building is sited to reuse the area previously occupied by the old cottage, in turn minimizing the new building’s impact on the site. The additional footprint and organization of the new dwelling is informed by the granite shelves offered by the site, each of the floor levels hugs the natural terrain. Upon arrival from land the building appears as a single story though once inside it’s larger volumes are revealed as the spaces step down towards the lake.
Early in the design stage, after gaining an intimate understanding of the site, we made the effort to minimize the new building’s footprint beyond that of the existing A-frame. In keeping with our philosophy of site specific design we let the uniqueness of the site drive the design. No blasting. The result is a building completely engaged with it’s site and one that couldn’t exist anywhere else. This is our first goal for a building that treads lightly. As we consider the natural siting, we also pay close attention to desired passive solar heat gain in the winter and passive solar shading, natural ventilation for the summer. Design first, Technology second. Here, as with every project, we do as much as we can with the design of the building, before making up the difference with the most economically sensible system.
Altius Project Team: Architecture: Trevor McIvor, Tao Cheng, Tony Round Construction Management: Trevor McIvor, Tao Cheng, Tony Round
Project Partners: Engineering: CUCCO engineering + design, Toronto Builder: KL Carpentry, Ontario Mechanical: Gravenhurst Mechanical & Plumbing