It’s time to share some boat house inspiration! For those of you looking to build a boat house, this rural boat house with seasonal residence can be the inspiration you were looking for. Located in Muskoka Lakes, Ontario, Canada, the construction that borrows the name of its location is a renovation of an existing boathouse with a 600 square foot second story guest suite and roof terrace addition. After seeing the design of the Fraser Residence, we can indulge in admiring this modern wood construction of the Muskoka Boathouse. Designed by the same Christopher Simmonds Architects, the Muskoka Boathouse is described by its creators: “Situated at the end of a narrow bay, the design of the new boathouse mediates between extended views out to the wide vista of the distant lake and the immediacy of the enclosed forested shoreline of the bay. The design provides a lens for these varied views as well as a sheltering foil to the open lake breezes and water traffic. A new exterior staircase positioned on the lower deck was introduced as a welcoming gesture in connecting the lower deck to the second level roof terrace.
The second story is designed as a self sufficient sleeping cabin and is comprised of one bedroom, a three piece washroom, a kitchenette and connected living space. The cabin combines rustic materials with minimalist detailing to create a sheltering yet contemporary character for the interior spaces. The cabin is constructed as a hybrid post and beam/wood stud frame structure with exposed Douglas Fir roof rafters and decking. Framed on three sides with wood studs and punched openings, the fourth side of the cabin opens up to the roof terrace with an exposed post and beam structure and extensive glazing. Douglas Fir plywood wall panels are used throughout and are contrasted in color and finish by Ipe wood flooring and detailing both inside and out. The exterior cladding of the main volume of the boathouse is clear stained western red cedar, used horizontally on the ground floor and vertically above to define the two programmatic uses for the building. Cement board panels and Douglas Fir screens provide the exterior terrace with privacy. Stair guards are steel framed with a wire mesh infill and add a further nautical level of detail to the overall effect of the design.”
The best architects can create designs which will give clients and the public things they didn’t even realise they wanted, and this is especially important when architects are given the difficult brief of creating structures in much-loved, iconic areas.
What is new and exciting now can quickly begin to look tired and out of fashion, so the best buildings don’t just consider what will be interesting to look at now, but also how it might look to people in five, fifty or even a hundred years’ time. 2013’s hotly contested RIBA Stirling Prize went to Witherford Watson Mann Architects for their work on Astley Castle, Warwickshire. In what RIBA Past President Stephen Hodder has described as an extreme retrofit, the project essentially saw a new building inserted subtly into the heart of the old, with a new, two storey residence now hidden within the sandstone walls of the ruins of this medieval castle, to be used as a holiday home for up to eight guests