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Communal Lakeside Vacation House in Ontario

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On a lakeside plot outside Toronto, four friends forge a new kind of vacation house. 

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  For Karina Inzunza, Graham Barker, Melana Janzen, and John McMinn (pictured left to right), a shared vacation home on Georgian Bay was the perfect opportunity to pool resources, split costs, and create an extended family unit.  Photo by: Lorne Bridgman

    For Karina Inzunza, Graham Barker, Melana Janzen, and John McMinn (pictured left to right), a shared vacation home on Georgian Bay was the perfect opportunity to pool resources, split costs, and create an extended family unit.

    Photo by: Lorne Bridgman

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  The vacation complex is designed to promote an easy flow between the two families' spaces, which include guest cabins and a shared porch for hanging out and eating.  Photo by: Lorne Bridgman

    The vacation complex is designed to promote an easy flow between the two families' spaces, which include guest cabins and a shared porch for hanging out and eating.

    Photo by: Lorne Bridgman

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  The large wraparound porch links the two main houses and two guest cabins, and is the site of many impromptu shared meals.  Photo by: Lorne Bridgman

    The large wraparound porch links the two main houses and two guest cabins, and is the site of many impromptu shared meals.

    Photo by: Lorne Bridgman

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  Two-year-old Annika and five-year-old Soren make music on the "nap swing," a popular hangout spot for kids and adults alike.  Photo by: Lorne Bridgman

    Two-year-old Annika and five-year-old Soren make music on the "nap swing," a popular hangout spot for kids and adults alike.

    Photo by: Lorne Bridgman

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  McMinn, an architect, helps Soren construct a TinkerToy tower. The cowhide rug is from Perfect Leather Goods, and the Wassily Chair is by Marcel Breuer for Knoll.  Photo by: Lorne Bridgman

    McMinn, an architect, helps Soren construct a TinkerToy tower. The cowhide rug is from Perfect Leather Goods, and the Wassily Chair is by Marcel Breuer for Knoll.

    Photo by: Lorne Bridgman

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  A view of the exterior of the structure, showing the two families' separate living spaces anchored by a single broad porch.  Photo by: Lorne Bridgman

    A view of the exterior of the structure, showing the two families' separate living spaces anchored by a single broad porch.

    Photo by: Lorne Bridgman

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  Barker, a software executive and former professional drummer, describes the challenge of the project as such: "It’s the expression of two commingling family structures, with respect for the need for individuality at times."  Photo by: Lorne Bridgman

    Barker, a software executive and former professional drummer, describes the challenge of the project as such: "It’s the expression of two commingling family structures, with respect for the need for individuality at times."

    Photo by: Lorne Bridgman

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  As shown here, the orientation of the two houses provides both privacy and occasional moments of permeability; a peek through the window above the master bed reveals neighbors across the way.  Photo by: Lorne Bridgman

    As shown here, the orientation of the two houses provides both privacy and occasional moments of permeability; a peek through the window above the master bed reveals neighbors across the way.

    Photo by: Lorne Bridgman

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  The structures share a solar panel, but the families control their own home's heat level with a wood-burning stove.  Photo by: Lorne Bridgman

    The structures share a solar panel, but the families control their own home's heat level with a wood-burning stove.

    Photo by: Lorne Bridgman

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  Soren and Annika share a lofted bedroom and a pair of bunks. In Barker and Inzunza's house, this space is used as an office and music room.  Photo by: Lorne Bridgman

    Soren and Annika share a lofted bedroom and a pair of bunks. In Barker and Inzunza's house, this space is used as an office and music room.

    Photo by: Lorne Bridgman

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  McMinn and Janzen's kitchen opens onto a double-height living and dining area.  Photo by: Lorne Bridgman

    McMinn and Janzen's kitchen opens onto a double-height living and dining area.

    Photo by: Lorne Bridgman

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  In addition to spaces for dining and napping, the porch shelters a kayak and this hanging bench-cum-balance beam made of salvaged tree trunks.  Photo by: Lorne Bridgman

    In addition to spaces for dining and napping, the porch shelters a kayak and this hanging bench-cum-balance beam made of salvaged tree trunks.

    Photo by: Lorne Bridgman

  • 
  What else is the porch good for? Tricycle races, of course.  Photo by: Lorne Bridgman

    What else is the porch good for? Tricycle races, of course.

    Photo by: Lorne Bridgman

  • 
  Here, a floor plan of the shared structure, called the CP Harbour House, which was designed by architects (and residents) Melana Janzen and John McMinn.  Photo by: Lorne Bridgman

    Here, a floor plan of the shared structure, called the CP Harbour House, which was designed by architects (and residents) Melana Janzen and John McMinn.

    Photo by: Lorne Bridgman

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