Gorgeous cottage retreat on Lake Muskoka

Muskoka Cottage-Christopher Simmonds Architect-01-1 Kindesign

This stunning cottage retreat is situated on Lake Muskoka, Ontario, Canada, designed by Christopher Simmonds Architect. The vaulted forms of this post and beam structure straddle a seasonal stream and climb a rambling granite outcrop of the Canadian Shield. Envisioned as a multi-generational retreat, the center of this home is a high ceilinged pavilion of Douglas Fir centered on a stone and concrete fireplace. Sliding glass doors stack away to achieve unparalleled intimacy between the kitchen/dining area and the adjacent patio that overlooks a sheltered bay.

High ceilinged spaces with operable clerestory windows ensure that breezes off the lake keep the home well ventilated and cool on summer days. A master suite is accessed by a glazed link which bridges the seasonal stream and affords a more secluded sanctuary when desired. At the opposite end of the home the bedroom wing steps upward to match the steeply ascending rock profile and provides stunning views to the lake vista. A pair of interconnecting bedrooms and a kid’s bunkroom are located at the second level while another bedroom with en-suite is perched up a final flight of stairs.

Muskoka Cottage-Christopher Simmonds Architect-02-1 Kindesign

Muskoka Cottage-Christopher Simmonds Architect-03-1 Kindesign

Fibre cement panels and cedar planking contrast with the stone’s weight to complete the building exterior skin. Ground source heat pumps provide heating and cooling through a radiant floor system and ducted ventilation.

Muskoka Cottage-Christopher Simmonds Architect-04-1 Kindesign

A basalt stone floor flows through the main level of the house while the upper bedroom levels have an Ipé plank finish. Both materials contrast effectively with the warm tones of the Douglas Fir posts, beams and exposed roof decking and the “cabinet grade” fir wall paneling. Granite faced walls wrap from the exterior through to the interior to ground the experience of moving through this cluster of forms.

Muskoka Cottage-Christopher Simmonds Architect-05-1 Kindesign

Muskoka Cottage-Christopher Simmonds Architect-06-1 Kindesign

Photos: Courtesy of Christopher Simmonds Architect