As nature blooms, temperatures rise and our daylight hours lengthen, many Canadians start extracting themselves from their own hibernation and begin craving a cottage escape.
So to kick off the season, here's Blackbirch Cottage - a 2,400 square foot contemporary respite located in Haliburton, Ontario - that celebrates Summer shelter in the Great White North.
Comprising two distinct volumes, the shed component clad in dark corrugated steel and expansive windows is dedicated to communal entertaining, while the 2-storey timber-clad cube with strategically placed windows houses the sleeping quarters.
Between the two, a 2-storey entry and circulation space covered in reclaimed barn boards acts as an acoustic insulator.
The Entertainment Zone is a series of articulated living spaces situated under an exposed douglas-fir timber frame with birch plywood paneling. Although the space plan is open, the thoughtfully proportioned and well-scaled post and beam structure delineates each area for cooking, dining and socializing, while the cohesive use of natural materials keep the space unified and in keeping with its setting.
The shed roof vaults to embrace the spectacular vista, sheltering a large screened porch for lounging and dining. Accessed through a series of glazed folding doors, this intelligent design creates a seamless indoor/outdoor seasonal living space.
Separating the communal zone from the sleeping quarters, the 20-foot tall entry and circulation space features an eye-catching floating staircase. The staircase, set against a wall of reclaimed barn board, is constructed with fir treads, steel stringers and glass railings. At the end of this volume of space, an intimate seating area for contemplation overlooks the lake.
The childrens' bedrooms are located on the main level of the sleeping quarters, while the private master retreat - with its own treetop deck - is situated on the upper level.
Blackbirch Cottage artfully embodies the vernacular of the rustic post and beam cottage while incorporating the contemporary features we favour today. With its soaring ceilings, extensive glazing, and indoor/outdoor design, these architects successfully kept 'Nature' as the focal point. Instead of the architecture competing with the site, this building plays a supporting role to the setting, therein elevating the cottage experience
Visit STAMP Architecture to check out their other impressive works.
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Researched and Written by Crystal Yung, Bachelor of Architectural Studies, Waterloo University