Mary Lake Cottage


The scheme for this home was largely derived through the need for the building to seamlessly dissolve into the surrounding landscape on approach, but to then very expressively share a deep connection with the views beyond.

The building itself lies at the hub or intersection of two very defined axis’; one which indicates “entrance” and acts as a funnel to draw those on approach into the body of the building at the upper level, and a second that forms an extension or arm from the lower level down to the water, whilst also acting as a retaining wall to the landscape behind.

A rich collection of varying volumetric spaces splay out from the entrance towards the lake offering up a complex array of spaces; some more intimate, and some more open to the views beyond. The subtle level change from one shard of the building to another facilitates a greater degree of interaction between interior and exterior spaces whilst also allowing the building to really connect with the landscape below.

Overall, the building takes advantage of the vast views out over the lake, and its ability to hunker down into the landscape as the terrain drops off sharply towards the waterfront, results in a dynamic form within an intimate setting.


Sustainability Features

  • Passive Solar Heating
  • Natural Ventilation and Passive Cooling
  • Natural Daylighting
  • High Performance Envelope Design
  • Renewable Materials and Finishes
  • Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and Non-toxic Materials and Finishes
  • Radiant Heating
  • Heat Recovery Ventilation
  • Low Energy Lighting & Appliances
  • Water Conserving Appliances & Fixtures
  • Green Roofs

Altius Project Team Architecture

  • Trevor McIvor