Canadian architects create weekend cottage inspired by Venetian villas
Conceived to be as a bright and airy as a Venetian villa, Morokai was designed to take advantage of its situation on a rocky peninsula that runs in a north-south direction separating two separate waterfronts.
Typically the weekend cottages in this Canadian lake district named Muskoka have a more tradition design that leads to houses with dark, cramped interiors. The house's two slipped rectangular masses with large over-hanging metal roofs allow both sunrise and sunset light directly into the main living space, while providing shade during the middle of the day.
Floor to ceiling windows cover half of the buildings exterior, affording unimpeded views of both waterfronts. This single level house was set as low to the ground in order to avoid the necessity of view-impeding balustrades required by local codes. Many green design features make this house energy efficient year round such as geothermal heating, triple glazing and cross ventilation.
The main living space is an average of 15 ft. high throughout with clerestory windows allowing hot air to rise and be removed without the use of any mechanical devices or air conditioning, as in Venetian villas. The interior finishes were designed with a utilitarian mindset for durability and ease of maintenance. A large ledge-stone clad box containing two separate fireplaces separates the main interior living space with the screened-in porch or Muskoka Room. The entire floor surface of the house is clad in black slate that mimics the lakes' dark colour.