Designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and located three hours northeast of Toronto, this 307-m2 (3300-sf) retreat is situated along the shores of Contau Lake on a remote, seasonally isolated woodland spanning nearly 40 ha (100 acres).
The two-story residence stretches parallel to the lake and a granite rock-face rising up to the south, with primary living and dining spaces at ground level spilling to the outdoors, and sleeping and bathing spaces perched above to capture expansive views of the lake and surrounding forest. The retreat serves as a jumping-off point to a private trail network fashioned by the client. A series of delicate canoe docks and boardwalks knit shallow marshes with hilltop perches, urging exploration by both water and land.
“A warm rendition of modern through great use of wood and wood detailing. The project shows a deep commitment to understanding the site,” said the jury.
AIA’s Housing Awards program, now in its 18th year, was established to recognize the best in housing design for new constructions, renovations, and restorations. This year’s recipients were selected by a five-member jury that evaluated projects for demonstrating design excellence. The jury also evaluated whether designs are sustainable, affordable, durable, innovative, socially impactful, meeting client needs, and addressing the natural and built contexts.