House MN is a cottage located on a remote lake near the southern edge of Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario. It responds to a low, flat, waterfront site and a desire to be invisible from the lake’s edge. Surrounded by conservation area and logging roads, House MN is a study in minimizing the visual and physical impact of a summer residence in Ontario’s boreal forest.
Upon approaching the cottage from the access road, a solitary view through the width of the home connects visitors to views of the lake beyond. The wide, thin line of cottage organizes the structure’s programme parallel to the water’s edge beneath a hovering shed roof. At the centre of this organization is the home’s large communal space focused around dual hearths – a wood burning stove and the kitchen’s stove top. The space’s double height south-facing glazing connects the surrounding forest and views across the lake with the interior. The cottage’s sleeping areas face the morning sun and are accessed via a long, north lit gallery that displays the family’s art collection. A small loft occupying the roof elevates guest rooms into the surrounding canopy to create enclosed, private spaces. Facing the sunset, a large outdoor living/dining area is protected by an extension of the long roof form.