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All photos by Doublespace Photography
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sky House

Stoney Lake, Ontario



Negotiating the steep topography of a lake-side site, this holiday home consists of two volumes stacked on one another. The lower bar nestles into the landscape so that it is barely visible as one first approaches the house. The upper bar rests on the lower one and on a concrete pier to form both a bridge and a cantilever condition. Creating paths around and under the building, this massing strategy allows for increased access and permeability of the site and emphasizes the charged relationship between the building and the ground.

The upper volume contains living spaces and opens up towards the lake while the lower volume houses bedrooms. Responding to the need for accessibility for guests with disabilities, as well as thinking of the clients’ ability to use the building far into the future, a study/bedroom and accessible bathroom is provided on the main level. The roof of the lower bar becomes the terrace allowing elevated views and a direct connection to the living spaces.

The factory-inspired skylights are rotated to admit north light without heat gain while orienting the solar panels due south so the house can generate all of it’s own power. The combination of vertical monitors on the roof and the large glazed facade to the south result in an incredibly daylit interior. A covered walkway shades the main wall of glass from summer sun but allows the lower winter sun to pour in and passively heat the dark-dyed concrete floor.

Simple, low-maintenance long-life materials are used on the facade, including a reflective standing seam metal roof and a lapped heat-treated (petrified) wood cladding, while the interior is lined with formaldehyde-free plywood. Playful elements are placed throughout from a glazed brick socle for the wood stove, to scattered colourful coat-hooks and a custom undercroft swing-bench. 

All photos by Doublespace Photography