MUSKOKA HOUSE

Location: Muskoka Lakes, ON
Size: 3,200 sf

Set on the Cliffside of a much-cherished lake, Muskoka House seeks to enhance the extraordinary surrounding scenery through the thoughtful integration of building elements with the natural assets of the site and terrain. This dwelling emerges from the rock formation of the cliff using the same local granite to form its base. A central core acts as an anchor that circulates movement, light and air into the living spaces that pinwheel and cantilever off into the landscape. In spite of its modest scale, this house easily accommodates a family of 4 by providing amenity for dinning, cooking, living, reading and sleeping which are each carefully tuned to the unique view, light and breezes of the cliff. To balance the heavy mass derived from the fireplaces; cantilevered volumes, floating roofs and floor to ceiling glass are used to achieve a lightness of form as it works to bring the views into the living spaces. As a retreat from urban life, the desire to become completely self sufficient and independent from external infrastructure became critical in the design of a completely off grid residence. Heat is provided through passive solar gain and solar mass floors. Two masonry wood-burning heaters assist an evacuated tube solar array.