Curve Architecture Magazine FEB/MAR 2014
OPENING UP TO NATURE
A Cottage That Lets In Everything But The Cold
THE LAKE COTTAGE WAS DESIGNED BY CANADIAN ARCHITECT IRENE GARDPOIT OF UUFIE ALONG WITH JAPANESE ARCHITECT EIRI OTA. SITAUTED ALONG THE KAWARTHA LAKES THE COTTAGE IS SURROUNDED BY A FOREST OF SPRUCE AND BIRCH TREES AND HENCE NEEDED TO BE PART OF ITS SURROUNDINGS. THE COTTAGE, WHICH WAS DESIGNED AS A MULTIFUNCTIONAL SPACE FOR A LARGE FAMILY TO BE ADDED ON TO THEIR EXISTING HOME, IS COMPOSED OF AN A-FRAME ROOF THAT REACHES A HEIGHT OF SEVEN METERS. THE COTTAGE ALSO USES VARIOUS CLEVER WAYS TO BRING THE OUTSIDE TO THE INSIDE AND THE INSIDE TO THE OUTSIDE.
The external walls and roof of the structure are done up in black steel, charred cedar siding and reflective walls that act as mirrors to the encompassing landscape by reflecting the trees. The sheltered entrance to the cottage, which is located within this mirrored space towards the front of the structure, is also a patio whose floor is made from tree trunks and branches of varying sizes. Nature is never far from the Lake Cottage and the flow between the interiors and exteriors continues within the home itself.
The main room of the cottage is a hollow rectangular space with a fireplace that joins the main house via a dining room area. 14 windows and openings can be counted from the main room and almost none of them offer the exact same view. While some of the windows open up to the outside others give views of the dining room and attic located between the roof and the living area’s ceiling. The attic can be accessed via a sturdy timber staircase and is probably the cottage’s coziest corner. Light blue fish scale shingles adorn the inner roof further enhancing the idea of the inside and outside becoming one.
The materials used by the Canadian studio are all from the local area and during the construction Uufie decided to use methods that were traditional and would ensure the sustainability of the extension. The furnishings within remain sparse and resemble the Nordic style of interior decorating while the walls and staircase maintain an unfinished feel that prevents the interior from contrasting to deeply with the forest outside, which is further incorporated to the interior via the steel frames of the dining room windows that resemble barren trees.