Brackenrig Cottage

Geology of Place: Camp on Lake Rosseau

This project creates a series of new buildings at the south edge of Muskoka’s Lake Rosseau. Two hours north of Toronto, situated on the Canadian Shield, the Township of Muskoka consists of 1,600 picturesque lakes, of which Lake Rosseau is among one of the largest and most well-known for its dramatic geology. Exposed rocks and moss at the eroded edge inspire our design that sculpts each new piece to avoid majestic trees and boulders to create new outcroppings now sheared much like geodes with high performance glass. Cooling shade in the dense trees of summer hosts generous perched decks that eventually break through to the water and sun drenched boat house and docks.

A slice through the north face of the mass reveals a polished surface, reflecting views of Lake Rosseau, mimicking the glow of the crystals hidden within rock cavities.

Critical to this project is the celebration and protection of the dramatic, natural elements of its site. The study of the site, with its rocky terrain and steep slopes masked by thick foliage, has inspired an exploration of natural forms that can be nestled in their surroundings, making space for the steepest slopes, and mature trees.

The building forms are inspired by natural rock formations. Partially submerged within the landscape the main cottage begins to emerge as one descends down the slope of the site, with its raw exterior, resembling the outside shell of a geode.

The collection of interventions on the road, on the slope, and on the water, consists of a multi-generational main house, with auxiliary bunkies, a studio garage, and a boat house. Modes of access critically position each piece allowing the natural currents of this site to remain unimpeded during each of the four seasons.

Project Facts

  • Client


  • Location

    Muskoka Township, Ontario

  • Size

    +2 Acres

  • Status

    Under Construction

  • Sub-Consultant Team

    Geotechnical — Soil Engineers Ltd.

    Landscape — Muskoka Landscapers

    Mechanical — BK Consulting Inc.

    Planning — Marie Poirier Planning & Associates Inc.

    Structural — Blackwell Structural Engineers

  • Renderings

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