A four-season escape for a busy young family, this Kawarthas-region cottage explores the duality of being both intimate and expansive. Located on the edge of a quiet bay at the end of a rustic gravel road, the heavily treed site is secluded upon approach, yet opens up to a dramatic Mississauga Lake vista. Inside, the L-shaped building strikes a similar balance between privacy and openness, with grand social spaces designed to accommodate large gatherings of extended family and friends, and other, more tucked away areas introducing intimate spots to relax and recharge.
To control scale and impact on the site, the cottage is divided into two forms based on private and semi-private functions. A horizontal wing built parallel to the shoreline skews communal and open-concept, joining a large great room with a spacious kitchen. A second, vertical volume intersects this form at a ninety-degree angle to introduce two floors of sleeping quarters. Flanking the edge of this taller volume, a glazed hallway creates a sunlit link between the cottage’s two main zones, building a sense of anticipation as it approaches the sprawling great room’s sublime lake view and central stone hearth.
As key elements of the project, stone and wood serve to emphasize the dialogue between architecture and nature by reflecting the building’s surroundings. Along with the cottage’s massing, this materiality also softens the scale of the project to create the impression of a more modest intervention. The end result is a place that feels warm, welcoming, and completely at home in its wilderness setting.