View from lake of red Muskoka chairs with stone staircase leading up to illuminated glazed cottage nestled in trees and rocks at dusk

House on West Lake Muskoka

This five-bedroom house faces west on a bay in the west end of Lake Muskoka. A small peninsula projects into the lake in front of the property and houses a small ornamental lighthouse.

The building follows the setback from the water creating a plan which hinges back at great room and maximizes lake views and natural daylighting. The great room is contiguous with the screened porch, which can be fully opened into the main great room through folding panel doors, creating one large open space. An outdoor kitchen is located outside the screened porch on a deck overlooking the lake, and new boathouse.

The master bedroom is located at the opposite end of the house from the other bedrooms and steps up three risers to accommodate the rising landscape and creating views to the lake.

The lower level has two bedrooms, a recreation area, and mechanical rooms, and is designed as a walkout to reinforce the feeling of being on a main floor and not a basement.

The house id situated on the site to work with the landscape, and existing vegetation to avoid removing as many trees and rocks as possible and can barely be seen from the water. The result is a building that is integrated with its surroundings and looks as though it has always been there.

LOCATION

Muskoka, Ontario

COMPLETED

2020

SIZE

6,000 ft² (Cottage), 650 ft² (Boathouse)

SERVICES

New Construction

CATEGORY

Residential

PHOTOGRAPHY

David Whittaker


Illuminated original red brick house with second storey addition in the back and landscaped front yard at dusk

House in Port Credit

The original 1950’s ‘arts and crafts’ bungalow located in a ‘leafy’ Port Credit neighbourhood steps from Lake Ontario was a little cramped for a family of five.

Rather than tear down the original house and build a new larger home as is the norm these days, the client wanted to expand the house without impacting upon the extensive mature landscape that includes a small pond beside the house.

The solution was to create a vertical addition. The addition was set back from the ridge line of the bungalow’s roof to ensure the scale and form of the original home remained legible. By off setting the second floor addition, the design provided the much needed sleeping rooms for the family but also offered outdoor covered spaces for El Fresco dining and entertaining which were protected from direct sunlight or an unexpected rain shower.

The master bedroom was designed to project beyond the original building and hover over the beautiful landscape below. A large window provides the clients with a wonderful view of their intimate property. To minimize the impact on the vegetation, helical piles were used to support the projecting addition.

The addition was clad in fibre-cement panels in a charcoal grey that blends with the roof of the original house while providing a contemporary architectural expression quite distinct from the original bungalow below. The juxtaposition between the old and the new enhances the qualities and textures of the original bungalow while providing the family with a house that is twice the size.

LOCATION

Mississauga, Ontario

COMPLETED

2018

SIZE

900 ft² Renovation; 1,200 ft² Addition

SERVICES

Renovation & Addition

CATEGORY

Residential

PHOTOGRAPHY

Ben Rahn/A-Frame


House on Skeleton Bay

Situated on a bay on Lake Rosseau in Muskoka, this cottage is located at the foot of a cliff, right at the water’s edge.

The location is grandfathered in as it is a replacement of an existing one-storey cottage sharing the original footprint. This accounts for the project’s direct proximity to the water.

The limited footprint necessitated a two-storey design. The second storey is perched above the open plan below, and with the backdrop of the cliff behind it, the second storey appears nested in the rugged landscape.

The central two-storey living space is flanked on the ground floor by the kitchen/dining area and the den and screened porch on the other. At the second level bedrooms are situated on either side of the two-storey space and a bridge connecting both sides. The clerestorey window spans the building and faces the cliff allowing views back and ample north light.

The two-storey window wall faces the lake and frames spectacular views of Skeleton Bay.

LOCATION

Muskoka, Ontario

COMPLETED

2020

SIZE

3,400 ft²

SERVICES

New Construction (Replacement)

CATEGORY

Residential

PHOTOGRAPHY

David Whittaker


Front facade of house from snowy sunny front yard with trees

Ski Chalet at Blue Mountains

This recreational home is sited in a development at the foot of the Alpine Ski Club in the Town of Blue Mountains.

The building is sited on a residential street facing the ski hills and is designed for Apres-ski entertaining with six bedrooms, open living spaces, a recreation room, a sauna, and a courtyard with a hot tub and firepit.

The challenge was to create a recreational feel in a building which is within a suburban style subdivision with styles ranging from neo-classical to modern. The goal was achieved by making the courtyard the centrepiece of the design. The layout of the house around a courtyard not only protects the hot tub and firepit from prevailing winds but provides a house that is more inward looking, versus a view outward to the residential street. The courtyard device also allows natural light to penetrate the living spaces, while enhancing the transparency between indoor and outdoor rooms. While the building is large, the massing from the street is of low scale in contrast to the adjacent two-storey houses. The portion of the house in front of the courtyard is one-storey, while the portion behind the courtyard is two- storey, which not only reduces the height at the front elevation but affords a view of the ski hill from the gallery on the second storey which also overlooks the living room.

Interior materials include hardwood floors, natural stone, rift sawn white oak, and douglas fir post and beam ceilings. Exterior materials are dark stained natural wood siding, metal standing seam roof, aluminum clad widows and natural stone.

LOCATION

Collingwood, Ontario

COMPLETED

2019

Size

9,156 ft²

SERVICES

New Construction

CATEGORY

Residential

PHOTOGRAPHY

David Whittaker

PRESS

Style, Hearth & Soul
Escarpment Magazine


Illuminated cottage with stone walkway across front lawn to large deck at entrance with lounge chairs and gardening in front

House on Big Bay Point

This family compound houses a one-storey wing with great room, screened porch and master bedroom on the ground floor with views to Lake Simcoe.

A two-storey wing at the entry side of the building accommodates six bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms; there is also room for future bedrooms in the basement.

The building is painted in dark tones with a cedar roof to blend with the site, while interior rooms flow with the exterior spaces fora seamless connection.

LOCATION

Innisfil, Ontario

COMPLETED

2016

SIZE

14,000 ft²

SERVICES

New Country Home

CATEGORY

Residential

PHOTOGRAPHY

David Whittaker


Illuminated cottage elevation with sunrise reflected in windows with rock landscaping in foreground and trees in background

House on Stephen's Bay

This 5 bedroom, one-storey recreational home hugs the landscape and rock overlooking Lake Muskoka.

The T-shaped plan houses the great room and kitchen at the south end, with attached garage, and the bedroom wing at the north end. Most bedrooms have a view of the lake, and the main concept is to have a completely daylit interior which maximizes views and brings the outdoors in.

LOCATION

Bracebridge, Ontario

COMPLETED

2016

SIZE

4,923 ft²

SERVICES

New Construction

CATEGORY

Residential

PHOTOGRAPHY

David Whittaker


View from stone entrance walkway of illuminated two storey cottage nestled in trees at dusk

House on West Lake Rosseau

The house was originally built on spec in a neo-traditional style.

The new owners requested that the building be converted into a more contemporary and clean look, to eliminate decorative elements such as round top windows and dormers.

Exterior stairs were relocated to flanking elevations and windows enlarged to improve quality of daylight, views and ventilation.

The boathouse was renovated in a similar manner.

LOCATION

Muskoka, Ontario

COMPLETED

2014

SIZE

6,500 ft²

SERVICES

Renovation

CATEGORY

Residential

PHOTOGRAPHY

David Whittaker


Front entrance canopy with stone walkway from driveway at dusk

Caledon Hills Country Home

This house is located in the Caledon Hills on farmland which is still cultivated.

The landscape is subtle compared to some of our more northern projects located on rugged sites in the Canadian Shield. The goal was to create a house which not only fit into the landscape but also integrates the interior with the exterior.

The main floor is configured as the entry foyer, mudroom, great room, screened porch and master suite, and the lower level has three bedrooms, a family room and games room below the second porch, all with maximized daylight in a walk-out condition.

LOCATION

Caledon, Ontario

COMPLETED

2015

SIZE

4,500 ft²

SERVICES

New Country Home

CATEGORY

Residential