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Eco-Friendly Rustic Cabin Retreat in Canada

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With windows recycled from a Toronto skyscraper, Barerock is both rustic cabin and high-tech, eco-friendly retreat.

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  Barerock’s minimal interior is augmented by a built-in dining area made from African padauk, a decay-resistant hardwood. The mirrored kitchen wall echoes the exterior’s distinguishing feature.
    Barerock’s minimal interior is augmented by a built-in dining area made from African padauk, a decay-resistant hardwood. The mirrored kitchen wall echoes the exterior’s distinguishing feature.
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  The cabin, which took two years to build, and cost less than $165,000, has opened up new opportunities for the enterprising couple.
    The cabin, which took two years to build, and cost less than $165,000, has opened up new opportunities for the enterprising couple.
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  Barerock’s low-impact minimalist charm is due in part to its rugged location on secluded Drag Lake. The lack of road access ruled out the use of heavy equipment to construct the house, and just getting the materials to the site required major effort. (The topography had stymied previous generations of loggers who harvested the surrounding area, but left the Molenaars’ property untouched.) “The whole challenge of figuring it out was amazing,” says Diane.
After an aborted attempt to airlift material to the property using a helicopter, the Molenaars settled on using a boat and their free-floating dock to haul supplies to shore.
    Barerock’s low-impact minimalist charm is due in part to its rugged location on secluded Drag Lake. The lack of road access ruled out the use of heavy equipment to construct the house, and just getting the materials to the site required major effort. (The topography had stymied previous generations of loggers who harvested the surrounding area, but left the Molenaars’ property untouched.) “The whole challenge of figuring it out was amazing,” says Diane. After an aborted attempt to airlift material to the property using a helicopter, the Molenaars settled on using a boat and their free-floating dock to haul supplies to shore.
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  The Molenaars had to move everything uphill—164 sacks of concrete weighing 60 pounds each, Douglas fir beams, two woodstoves, reclaimed windows, and the massive stainless steel Wolf gourmet stove. The couple considered hoisting material up to a deck before devising a simpler solution: Dan recruited his 24-year-old son Alex and four of his friends to carry everything by hand. 
There was a bright side to the hard labor. “At the end of the summer, we were ripped,” says Dan with a chuckle.
    The Molenaars had to move everything uphill—164 sacks of concrete weighing 60 pounds each, Douglas fir beams, two woodstoves, reclaimed windows, and the massive stainless steel Wolf gourmet stove. The couple considered hoisting material up to a deck before devising a simpler solution: Dan recruited his 24-year-old son Alex and four of his friends to carry everything by hand. There was a bright side to the hard labor. “At the end of the summer, we were ripped,” says Dan with a chuckle.

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