This house, located in a remote part of Haliburton, is built into the site which slopes toward the lake.

The long narrow design of the footprint allows most principal rooms a view of the lake while integrating the building into the hillside without creating an extremely high building on the lake side. In contrast, the games room and entertainment area are designed to be more enclosed, to create a more “cocooned” atmosphere as opposed to the open daylit spaces on the view side. The design integrates the interior and exterior using floor to ceiling and wall to wall glass, opening clerestorey windows and by making indoor materials continuous with outdoor materials. Lighting is integrated into the Douglas fir ceiling rafters, and the cadence and pattern rafters of the spacing results in an animated ceiling reminiscent of the tree canopy.

One feels as if they are part of the outside, sheltered between “pavilions” under one roof. The entrance procession leads guests passed light wells broken up by two-storey forms that restrain the interior corridor from the exterior window, allowing sky views from the lower level. These forms serve programmatic function while physically bringing the materiality of the exterior inside and spatially linking the differing grades on either side of the building. These objects march beyond the threshold of the front door revealing a two-storey wood cube at its conclusion. Entering the insular wood cube provides a warm nook which turns inward from the mostly open floor plan. The route down the stairs between the gateway created by these formal objects will complete the journey towards the lake.

A screened porch is located strategically behind the living room fireplace as opposed to obstructing views from the great room, and commands views to the south and west of the lake.


Haliburton, Ontario




7,742 ft²


New Construction




David Whittaker