Sitting low on the land behind a tree front, Clear Lake Cottage is an unpretentious addition to the scenic landscape of a quiet lake community in Senguin, Ontario.
Designed by Maclennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects (MJMA) for a Toronto family of five, this four season getaway replaces an existing 1950s structure with a modern trapezoidal and skewed volume whose modest, clean architecture blends with the rural character of its location.
The harmonious contrast between its dark exterior, the Douglas Fir forest and the light plywood interiors is made visible through terraces and entry areas that are carved into the singular volume. According to the architects, the resulting fluidity between the indoors and outdoors adds to the client’s wish to ‘maintain an intangible connection to wind, light, sounds and all the natural aspects that meant getting away’.
Following two main lines of approach – context and sustainability – the architects’ design includes a series of strategies that aimed at achieving energy efficiency and a ‘cottage feel’. For instance, the common spaces on the eastern side of the house afford a majestic lake view through oversized, 50% operable windows that provide cross ventilation and cooling. An R-30 roof, argon-filled low-E glazing and in-floor radiant heating, among other solutions, grant energy efficiency to a project whose single interior volume with an open loft would normally be a difficulty.
Images courtesy of Ben Rahn, A-Frame.