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Family retreat on the shores of Lake Huron in Ontario, Canada

Family retreat on the shores of Lake Huron in Ontario, Canada

Designed by South African architectural firm SAOTA, in collaboration with interior design firm ARRCC, this stunning summer home sits on the shores of Lake Huron in a small, isolated Canadian town, about a hour drive from London, Ontario.

While the architectural context may be described as a somewhat conservative “cabin country”, this home attempts to expand the possibilities of the traditional family retreat on Lake Huron, Canada, through a contemporary architectural approach carried out by the firm SAOTA architecture firm, based in Cape Town. The construction is set back on the property towards the street to preserve the natural cliff. On approach, it is largely hidden by the surrounding mature fir trees, appearing as a simple light-colored stone box floating effortlessly between the tree trunks. The design consists of a series of stacked and suspended rectangular boxes, one embedding the building into the ground plane, the other suspended above to allow the standard of living to exist between the volumes. An interior-exterior space to the south anchors the building and maximizes the view of the site’s lake, while allowing the living rooms to occupy the foreground. Large, the central part is subtly contrasted with more intimate areas contained in the kitchen and other rooms for a varied and articulate spatial experience. The upper level housing the master bedroom is reserved for the owners, including an office and a gym. To the front of the residence, a covered outdoor entertainment area flanks a swimming pool. A boardwalk and staircase leads down to a renovated cabin that predates the mansion and now accommodates a guest suite and additional outdoor entertaining area to make long summer days playing near the lake easier.

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