An addition to a cottage weekend home in the town of Georgina, Ontario addresses the evolving needs of an intergenerational family by creating a separate and adjoining suite for the family patriarch. The new structure contains living quarters and two bedrooms along with a private entry, but is linked to the original log cabin by a glazed passageway.
Sited at the edge of Cook’s Bay at the southern tip of Lake Simcoe, the cottage enjoys clear, unobstructed views of the water, sky and abundant foliage of the region. The addition extends the existing home to the south, and is designed with optimal lake views in mind while also capitalizing on prime southern exposure through an expansive wraparound deck. The fully glazed transparent link creates two exterior courtyards and provides a powerful transitional experience between the buildings; awash in natural daylight, the passage offers both east and west views of the property, encouraging pause and reflection and an appreciation of the changing seasonal dynamic. A rich complexity of layered spaces and views results from the new design strategy – in and through the new addition, around the tree-framed property, and toward the shores of Lake Simcoe.
The temporal narrative of the home is clear in the contrast between the traditional bungalow form of the original cottage and the distinctly modern addition. Though several decades separate the two structures, the new building continues the tradition of wood construction throughout, relying on natural, locally sourced and low-maintenance materials. Cost and efficiency were primary considerations, so the addition was designed as a prefabricated, panelized wood structure to reduce both waste and the duration of onsite construction. Wall, floor and roof panels were factory-built, flat-packed and trucked to the site, allowing the entire framing of the addition to be erected over a period of just a few days in winter.
As a graceful complement to a modest cottage bungalow, the new addition sits lightly on the landscape. Its spare and minimal articulation in both form and materiality enhances the natural beauty of the lakefront property, and represents a sympathetic response to building through a carefully considered strategy encompassing both structure and finish.
Location: Georgina, ON
Size: 840 sf
photo: Shai Gil