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Architect Leo Mieles

Leo Miele’s Georgian Bay Cottage was one of five first-class cabins we featured in our November 2009 Concepts feature—which showcased works with a modern twist to the familiar log model, Swiss chalets, and Swedish friggebods. Here we present an online-exclusive interview with Mieles for a closer look at the lodge he designed.

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The Georgian Bay Cottage treads lightly on the land—as the natives whose reservation this cabin is built on once did. Because the lots are leased, architect Leo Mieles explains, “the approach is: ‘Let’s not clear the hell out of the land but instead quietly embed our cottage and enjoy the landscape.’” This attitude prompts residents to distill their desires to the basic elements needed to escape from the city and relax in nature. Here, the solution is a “long-shed” construction featuring a large sliding door and pull-down bug screen, a translucent corrugated-fiberglass roof, and exposed studs and ties.

 

  • Photo by Tom Bies

    First-Class Cabins

    From the familiar log model to Swiss chalets and Swedish friggebods, cabins are the simplest of structures, made from local materials in forms that respond to climatic and cultural needs. However, these no-frills wilderness escapes no longer require giving up modern comforts and aesthetics. Today’s cabins synthesize traditional typology with present-day design know-how and allow architectural explorations in a way traditional homes rarely do. Here we highlight five modern retreats that might give you cabin fever of a different sort.

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