A reinterpretation of the classic country vacation home by Cape Town-based architecture firm SAOTA, this family getaway set against the bucolic landscape of Lake Huron is a lesson in contemporary glamour. Sitting on a lakeside that bridges the forest and water, and rising 3.5m above the road before it dips down towards the lake, it is strategically positioned to maximise the vista of the natural landscape.
The building exterior is dressed in a mix of light and dark tones, and clad with durable ceramic panels that can withstand the extremes of the Canadian climate. Conceptualised to resemble stacked concrete boxes, it creates a unique shadow play on the facade and inside.
The front of the seven-bedroom property is wrapped in expansive floor-to-ceiling glass windows that invite in plenty of natural light and offer panoramic lakeside views. The back, featuring a two-storey wall of glass, is shrouded by fir trees that provide privacy from the road.
Outdoors, a large space with a patio and a swimming pool was designed for long summer afternoons on the lake. One striking feature is the stone canopy, which extends from the indoor kitchen and shades an outdoor lounge, instantly establishing a relationship between the zones.
Beyond the pool, a boardwalk and staircase descend to a refurbished cabin that predates the house, and which now accommodates a guest suite and an additional outdoor entertainment area.
Inside the main house, the common living spaces are relatively open and fluid. They emulate the laid-back atmosphere one would expect of a holiday retreat with artfully designed interiors dreamt up by ARRCC, SAOTA’s interior design arm. A grey and wood-toned palette, mainly from a stone-effect Neolith surfacing, envelops the living and dining areas on the ground floor.
The luxe factor is amped up by timber, marble and leather touches, including a selection of high-design decor accents.
For instance, sculptural pendant lights by Tom Dixon create a statement over the custom dining table, while geometric lighting fixtures by Elan Lighting add drama to the triple-height atrium and living room, and an Okha sofa offers subtle elegance and plush comfort.
On the upper level are the owners’ private spaces, comprising the master bedroom, an office and a gym. Similarly clad in neutral hues, the bedroom is all understated elegance, with a remarkable vista to wake up to and modern creature comforts. Several key furniture pieces have been custom-designed by ARRCC. The other bedrooms are located in a wing above the garage.
The lower levels have a moodier colour scheme that blends with the surrounding low-level landscape and forest. The owner’s favourite room is situated here; an “engine room” housing a building services infrastructure, including a commercial-grade building automation system (BAS) that monitors and controls various systems within the residence.
The building is powered by a 15-kilowatt solar array, has an in-property underground stormwater system, and an EcoFlo Biofilter septic system, which deals with all sewer requirements on site.
- holiday home
- natural light