This Mirrored Cabin Playfully Brings a Forest Indoors

Set amidst a leafy forest near Ontario's Kawartha Lakes, this modern cabin beautifully mirrors nature with its contemporary choice of materials.
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The playful aesthetics of Toronto–based architecture firm UUfie are brought to life in the Lake Cottage, a contemporary cabin that offers a strikingly different take on the local housing vernacular.

A view of the cabin from the frozen lake. Here, the existing property can be seen to the right of the cabin.

Built as a house extension for a large family, the steeply pitched, two-story structure is partially sheathed in one-way mirror glass that creates effective camouflage against the forested setting and provides the interior with uninterrupted views of Mother Nature.

The cabin is surrounded by a thick forest of birch and spruce.

The architects say the mirrored finish hasn't caused any problems with the local wildlife.

To further recede the building into the landscape, the architects have used black steel for the 23-foot-tall roof, and wrapped the exterior in charred cedar siding, which has been made from the Shou Sugi Ban technique.

The siding of the cabin has been charred by hand using the Shou Sugi Ban technique.

The 700-square-foot cabin features a steeply pitched roof that is nearly 23 feet in height.

"Lake Cottage is a reinterpretation of living in a tree house, where nature is an integral part of the building," explain the architects of the 700-square-foot cabin. 

"It’s designed with interior and exterior spaces connected fluidly, and repeat the experience of living within the branches of a tree."

The tree-shaped window frames bring an abstract forest indoors.

The outdoor terrace features cedar log-end flooring, while the underside of the roof is covered with mirrored panels.

At the heart of the cabin is a large, light-filled living space punctuated by 14 openings, half of which frame views of the outdoors while the remainder reveal the peripheral rooms— the covered terrace, dining area, and upstairs loft.

A total of 14 windows punctuate the living room, with half of them overlooking peripheral rooms to give the cabin a house-within-a-house feel.

"[This is] further articulated with the edges and finishes of interior panels kept raw to show the inherit nature of materials used," add the architects. 

"This abstract nature of the interior spaces allows imagination to flow, and those spaces that could be identified as a domestic interior can suddenly become play spaces."

The staircase, which leads up to the loft, has been made from a huge maple log scraped of its bark and cut to hold a series of white treads.

The white treads are edged in aluminum.

The use of mirrors, natural materials, and the sloped wall covered in shingles give the sense of indoor/outdoor living all throughout the home.

Five windows fill the playful loft space with natural light.

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The sloped ceiling of the loft space is covered in scalloped shingles painted blue.

The view from the loft space down to the living room and dining area next door.

In contrast to the living area, the dining room is painted white and features tiled floors.

Each of the windows are deeply recessed, creating a frame-like effect.

A wood-burning fireplace with a playful house-shaped surround anchors one end of the main living space.

A close up of the wood neatly stacked in the cutout space next to the fireplace.

Black steel covers the roof, while the exterior walls are wrapped in charred cedar.

The outdoor terrace is oriented to face the lake.

A look at the floor plan of the ground level.

A floor plan of the second floor.

A site plan of the Lake Cottage.

Here is a section view.

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: UUfie

Builder/General Contractor: Level Design Build


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