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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