Clear Lake Cottage In Parry Sound, Ontario By Maclennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects

Wood is one of my favorite materials for a building envelope.

It has the ability to bring warmth and texture, as well as a certain humbleness and a connection to the rich history of shelter-building.


Source: MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects


MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects’ design for Clear Lake Cottage in Parry Sound uses wood in the aforementioned way, resulting in an elegantly designed cottage that met the clients' request for a “modern and open” structure that retained a “cottage feel”.

The architecture engenders moments of pause and reflection; using unassuming materials which blur the threshold between inside and out.


Source: Ben Rahn/A Frame Studio


Clear Lake Cottage interprets the rustic cabin archetype into a modern get-away through clean lined design and a restrained monochromatic palette consisting of glossy grays, whites, blacks, and sheets of plywood.


Source: MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects


Nestled into the forest, the modest structure is both unobtrusive and unassuming, subtly deferring to its surroundings.

Devising a simple tent-like envelope which encompasses private and open spaces alike, the home becomes a porous structure punctuated by tranquil semi-covered open areas.



Source: MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects


As the dark wooden exterior gives way to the plywood encapsulated interior, one encounters an engaging and tactile living space.

Wood is used in three distinct areas: the central communal space, a bedroom bar, and a master suite.

Texture and warmth abounds, reinforcing the connection to the outdoors.



Source: MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects


Interestingly, a panel system allows a façade to open to the forest, providing another opportunity to connect its occupants to the natural world while retaining the security of 'shelter' and comfort of 'home'.

This sense of connectivity between indoor and outdoor is creatively mirrored in the relationship between the separate spaces within. As one reaches the ‘pinnacle’ of the home, the tent-like top of the bedroom ‘bar’ becomes visible. Playfully designed, its pitch and angles are reminiscent of the graceful folds of draped fabric. Unencumbered by additional walls, the architects do away with 'heavy', instead opting for light, airy, and open. Moreover, this technique solidifies a visual and physical link to the communal space below.


Source: Ben Rahn/A Frame Studio


The resulting moments afforded by this quiet design are simple and lovely.  Far from either 60’s haven or faux rusticity, MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects’ have succeeded in creating a stunning dwell that establishes a strong yet elegant aesthetic; they creatively reinforce wood as a major compositional element within residential design.

Here's a link to view many more compelling designs by MJMA.


Written and Researched by Mikyla [Mika] Futz, Environmental Design, UBC. Honours Program.

Posted In: Ontario

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