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Molly's Cabin, Pointe Au Baril, Canada

Wednesday 12 Nov 2008

On the edge of the world

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Sustainable 3-season modern cottage on northern Canadian island with emphasis on exposed structure of reclaimed lumber 

Three and a half hours north of Toronto is Pointe Au Baril, a remote archipelago in Georgian Bay on a cusp of the Canadian shield.

Eight miles from the nearest marina, on a 2.8 acre island is a private seasonal retreat. The aim of the project was to balance comfort with the bare necessities so that its inhabitants live lightly on the land and fully engage in their surroundings.

The 1000 sq ft cabin consists of a bedroom, a living room with a library nook, a kitchen/dining room and a small loft that serves as a drawing studio. Although open in plan, the L-shaped design facilitates both privacy and interaction. Wooden decks and bridges extend the interior to the outdoors.

Topped by an asphalt roof and constructed from recovered timbers, the cabin is anchored by a Rumford fireplace that makes use of local stone. Solar panels power a pump that draws fresh water from the lake. On the other side of the island is an outhouse with a composting toilet.

Molly’s Cabin is familiar, experimental, respectful and assertive. The design challenges the current tendency in the area for extravagant architectural statements, creating a solution that is inventive and sustainable.

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