Two dilapidated cottages and a boathouse originally comprised this Lake Huron, Ontario property, when it was purchased by Becca and Doug Worple.
But with the guidance of visionary architects Michael Meredith and Hilary Sample of the interdisciplinary Toronto-based firm MOS, who proposed a series of buildings that would wrap around the island, this bucolic compound was magnificently transformed into a unique piece of architectural excellence—a large-scale art series of sorts.
The outcome is spectacular, yet the process not so simple…
The site is accessible only by a twenty-minute boat ride from the mainland.
Further, it possesses a capricious climate, where temperatures range from -20 and below to over 40 degrees Celsius, with powerful westerly winds in the wintertime.
The landscape, location and execution each create challenges.
Clever design solutions and natural materials seal the place up in winter. including sliding 'barn' doors.
The exterior is unfinished cedar cladding. The interiors are wrapped with warm-hued Douglas fir. The fireplace was constructed from local stone.
Simple. Honest. Easy. What more could you want at a remote location?
We love how the well-chosen artwork compliments the natural materials, clean-lined aesthetic, and setting, creating a focal point which adds flare to the otherwise unadorned space.
The architects, with the help of some University of Toronto students, incorporated handmade fixtures in the washroom.
The massive bathtub and a broad, shallow sink were skillfully sculpted from Iroko wood, deeply enhancing the richness of a typically utilitarian room.
The boathouse was designed as a waterborne two-story building supported on massive pontoons. Working with the limitations of a remote site, the architects' solution were to float the pontoons and a skeletal frame to a contractor’s workshop for further framing during the frozen months, and then to tug them back to the site for the remainder of construction.
Visionary thinking, ingenious design, and meticulous execution were at play to complete this one of a kind floating structure.
Houseporn.ca is truly impressed with the work of architects Michael Meredith and Hilary Sample.
Click on MOS to check out more of their work!
These magical photos are by Raimund Koch
Researched and Written by: Julia Borowicz
Urban Studies and Human Geography
University of Toronto, Undergraduate Studies