In a small town close to London, Ontario there’s a gorgeous area filled with beautiful pine trees and a lovely view over Lake Huron. It’s here that architecture studio SAOTA together with their interiors division ARRCC took on the task to build a contemporary family retreat up a bluff between the forest and the lake.
This region is mostly characterized by lots of traditional cabins but rather than going down that route the team decided to take a different approach. The idea was to create a structure that would make a strong architectural statement but also be able to complement its natural surroundings and to remain fairly unobtrusive. The large fir trees help to conceal it and most of the house is obscured from the street. The entrance is marked by a large pivot door and leads into a triple-height atrium which reveals a magnificent view of the lake and surrounding landscape.
The house is built on a bluff between the lake and the nearby forestThe site is 3.5 meters above road level and the house is pushed towards the backThe front and the back sections have contrasting designs, one being closed off for private and the other being open towards the beautiful view
In contrast with the opaque front section of the house, the rear volumes are largely open in order to take full advantage of the beautiful panorama. A double height glass wall allows natural light to travel freely into the adjacent spaces and also frames the view. To the South there’s a large indoor-outdoor space which extends the living areas outside and frame the swimming pool. The volume on the upper floor is a private area and contains the master bedroom, an office and a home gym. As you might be able to tell, the layout as a whole is simple, easy to navigate and very fluid. There’s a large central volume surrounded by several smaller ones and they’re all connected seamlessly while still maintaining their individuality.
The swimming pool and adjacent wooden deck areas are framed by a manicured lawn and a covered indoor-outdoor areaLarge glass walls and sliding doors ensure a strong connection between the house and its magnificent surroundingsThe indoor living areas is extended outside where there’s a covered entertainment space with stylish furnitureA pathway leads down to a cabin which predates the house and which now functions as a guest house
An oversized pivot door marks the main entrance and welcomes guests into a large atriumThe living area and the kitchen are combined into a large open space with different ceiling heightsThe large windows and extended ceiling height bring lots of natural light into all of the indoor living areasStylish wooden accents create various points of interest throughout the volumes while also adding warmth and texture to the interior designA large dining area with glamorous pendant lamps gets to enjoy a clean and unobstructed view towards the lakeThe minimalist contemporary interior design is complemented by a very casual and inviting atmosphereThe private areas of the house enjoy some of the best views from the upper floorA designated recreational room is fitted with a pool table, comfortable lounging furniture and soothing ambient lightsThe master bedroom enjoys a panoramic view over the lake and the beautiful treesFrom a simplified structural point of view, the house is a series of stacked and suspended rectangular volumes