Kawartha Lake Cottage is located in Bolsover, Ontario and thanks to the unique design features by Canadian architectural firm, Uufie, this mountain cabin is anything but the norm. With a black steel roof and mirrored siding this 22′ tall, two-story home away from home both stands out against the snow and disappears into its reflection. The A-frame design incorporates a free-flowing floor plan while a continuous bank of windows provides natural light. The windows are framed in black and create a surreal pattern against the undulating reflections on the exterior of the home. The effect is as though the home is almost a mirage and could be quite confusing to a first time visitor.
When approaching the home during the day, the roofline is clearly visible, but the roof appears to float amongst the trees. It is as though the home is a large gazebo and not a home at all. When the evening arrives, the black metal roof can disappear into the shadow lines for a now you see it, now you don’t trick on perspective. What makes this appealing is the way the home does not detract from the forest setting, but rather blends into it. Here, the forest is focus and not the man made structure that shares its space.
The covered entry way to the home wraps the mirrors up and onto the ceiling of the roof overhang, creating a fascinating visual pun. What is up and what is down? Without having your feet firmly planted on the ground it could get confusing. The reflections of the tree trunks are used as a design feature by incorporating thinly cut slabs to create a mosaic pattern on the deck. The tree rounds are reflected in the mirrored ceiling as though the forest is offering an exploded view into a dimension that lives between the layers of the trunks.
Once inside the home, the minimalist surrounding offers a place of calm. Here, the abstracted visuals of the mirrored façade are replaced with a simple and clean white interior wrapped in windows . The only diversion from the white floors and ceiling is the grey fireplace on the end wall. The fireplace repeats the shape of the home with its peaked centre point but breaks up the symmetry by a long and tall niche that holds the firewood. The clearstory windows on the left appear to offer a view of the roofline, but they actually open up to an upper level.
The upper level has both a line of skylights and a line of windows that look down into the living area of the home. This space can be used for studying or sleeping as it is both removed from the main living area and private.
Access to the upper level is through an organic stairwell. Here the wood stringer is notched to support stone slabs that act as the treads to the stairwell. The risers are left open and there are no handrails. Pale plywood sheathing covers the wall for an unassuming backdrop to the wood slab stringers and stone treads. The overall visual of the interior space is one of calm reflection as opposed to the exterior, which is reflective surrealism.
Photography by Naho Kubota