Location: Victoria Beach, Manitoba, Canada
Photography: Lindsay Reid
To create a warm and intimate cottage overlooking Lake Winnipeg and Elk Island, the design team for this project drew inspiration from the site for its founding principles. Views to the lake, access to natural light, a sensitivity to existing trees and other landscape features, and the desire to balance a neighbourly disposition with the need for privacy, were all factors in the formation of the plan.
The building is composed of 4 distinct spaces that are all designed to maximize interaction with the natural surroundings; an all-season core containing the kitchen, living, dining, bath and sleeping quarters; a screened-in porch; an open-air, partially covered terrace; and finally, a detached guest house/workshop. The composition of simple modern forms shape interior spaces while providing a pleasant contrast with the lakefront setting.
The owners constructed the cottage largely by themselves and the result is well built and precisely made. Early on in the process, they expressed a desire for a cottage that would be labour intensive to build, allowing them to earn ample sweat equity. Using the drawings as a guide, they sourced specialized materials such as red pine for the rafters and white oak that was milled to become the roof deck. The construction process was documented by them on their blog found here.
Wood siding left to weather combined with cement board panels, aluminum-clad wood windows, a low-slope membrane roof, and metal skirting are durable and easy to maintain even with long absences. On the inside, tile flooring, custom made oak cabinetry, pine beams and oak deck ceiling all combine to create a calm respite from city life.