Suvila Cottage

Suvila Cottage

"Suvila" means summer home in Estonian, the native language of its original owner, an artist who enjoyed living and working in nature. The lakeside retreat located near Mckellar Ontario sits at the base of a hill used years ago as a local source of sand. Nature has reclaimed the hillside and now provides a verdant setting for the cottage and the artist's wood carvings, paintings, mosaics and furniture.

The land narrowed sharply in the build-able area of the site which gave rise to a compact building footprint with a double-height open space. It contains a ground floor living room, bedroom and kitchen, as well as an upper floor loft and bedrooms.

Exposed wood beams and columns of parallel strand lumber combine with red pine floors and roof decking to express a robust yet simple structural system which is sympathetic to the strength and rustic qualities of the original owner's artworks. The building shell contains many windows and glazed doors which are positioned to frame views of the lake, forest and clearings. While providing varying intensities of light, the openings also allow prevailing breezes to naturally cool the interior of the building.

The white painted walls provide a neutral backdrop for the artwork and are a canvas for the constantly shifting patterns of light which filter through the tree canopies and reflect off of the water. The exterior blue, rust and white colour of the cottage suggests both the artist's preoccupation with colour and seaside dwellings.

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