The design of this boathouse, on the shore of Lake Joseph, is driven by stringent guidelines prescribed in the zoning by-laws. The project carves into the pitched roof tradition of the area and extends views out towards the lake, taking a modern twist on the established building typology. This starting point sparked an iterative design process involving building orientation, openings, sunlight and materiality, to negotiate a number of factors in the design of a simple dwelling with dynamic spatial qualities. In a site-specific approach, views are directed towards desired locations along the lake while adding headroom for the programmatic functions beneath the pitched roof. Elements of addition in the rectangular dormers allow the boathouse to inhabit the maximum building area, while balanced with an element of subtraction in the second floor deck. This outdoor space, carved out of the roof, is an extension of the interior living area, where the dwelling is perceived to be larger than zoning by-law will allow. The elevations are considered as a wrapping of material integrating openings and cut outs of contrasting material adding to the dialogue between building elements.
As a seasonal residence, this project balances comfort and economy in a creative proposal. This design reflects the desire for an emotional connection to the typology of a generic Muskoka boathouse, while addressing a contemporary approach of expression in a residence designed to meet the needs of the client and the site. This project is currently under construction.