Lake Muskoka

Cottage Renovation / Addition
Port Carling Ontario
Construction completed 2004
Design: Donald Schmitt and Cheryl Atkinson

This 2,300 square foot cottage addition and renovation, transforms an existing family cottage, within its existing envelope and footprint to retain its proximity to the lake edge - not allowed under contemporary planning setbacks. Another level was added to a previous addition to create a new tower element, as a counterpoint to the one-storey main living areas. Drywall ceilings were removed and reinterpreted as tipped, birch-plywood planes. Two fifteen foot tall dormer windows were added to bring in south light and views up into the pine forest. Windows and doors were reconfigured and replaced with energy efficient hardwood windows, walls and roof were highly insulated, and the darken knotty pine paneling was replaced with birch plywood to further brighten the space.

These transformations were used to bring in much more natural light, open spaces to views, animate the existing low, flat ceilings, and to ground the existing frame building into the native rock with a series of stone walled terraces. The existing boathouse was demolished to open views to the lake and a new galvalume-clad boathouse was designed to hide an adjacent neighbors dock, and to mimic the dynamic shapes of the local granite and windswept white pine.