Photographer’s studio over a boat house, Ontario


Perched on the edge of Stoney Lake in Ontario, this breathtaking piece of architecture serves as a studio, apartment and boathouse for a photographer.

Undoubtedly, this is a space to inspire and deepen ones artistic and spiritual sense of being.

Envisioned as a “reimagination of the archetypal glass house in a landscape” architecture firm gh3 updated this prototype working sustainably within the site and program.


Clarity of thought and execution emanate throughout each simple detail in the house.

The effect is a wondrous airy yet resolute quality.

The program of the interior thoroughly accommodates the needs of a photographer, namely careful attention to light. As a result of the north-facing window, the live-work space is continuously suffused in diffuse and undiminished natural light.

In addition, the windows are made of sliding glass panes that allow for natural ventilation and an automated blind system, as well as a white roof, prevents excessive solar gain.


Within the programmatic simplicity of this architectural project the needs of the client are fully met. Only integral spaces have been designed. Further, live-work areas, such as the furniture-like mezzanine assembly suspended above the main space that accommodates domestic functions, serve to reduce the footprint.

The granite base soaks up the abundant solar input by making use of its intrinsic thermal mass and as a result minimizing the reliance on active systems in the winter.


One truly begins to appreciate this architectural work when viewed in two glorious, drastically contrasting Canadian seasons–the splendid languid summer juxtaposed with the majestic austere winter. 

Architecture by gh3
Photos courtesy of Larry Williams

Researched and Written by: Julia Borowicz
Urban Studies and Human Geography
University of Toronto, Undergraduate Studies

Posted In: Ontario

Post your comment