Design | Redstone Cottage

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  • Company || Bellomo & Shea
  • Project Type || Cottage Build
  • Year || 2011-present
  • Budget || Withheld
  • Location || Redstone Lake, Ontario, Canada
  • Personal Role || Partner, Client Liaison, Design/ Construction Drawings in conjunction with Giuseppe Bellomo
  • Brief Description || This is another Bellomo & Shea project: this time we were very pleased to be hired to design a lakeshore cottage in Northern Ontario, on Redstone Lake. After some captivating site visits, we designed a compact cottage with some whimsically relaxing features, and made every attempt to open the interior up to the trees, and the lake. 

The site of the cottage is 3.5 hours North of Toronto, in Haliburton cottage country, at Redstone Lake. Redstone Lake is a large lake, and the cottage is situated on the largest bay on the East of the lake, with a lake view, down a small gentle slope from the cottage, over a small rocky beach, and out over the water to the West.

Our clients, a couple nearing retirement, wanted a place where multiple generations could visit together: the clients have a daughter who is married with two children. They wanted a summer and winter-ized space where grandkids and children and friends would congregate.

Giuseppe and I determined that without any constraints except the shore, the view, and the sun and trees, the cottage should be oriented exactly East-South-North-and-West, that way, with a small overhang, the sun would come directly into the longest side of the cottage, the backside, evenly throughout the winter, but not in the summer: a passive heating and cooling solution. This way too, the cottage would remain oriented to the view of the mouth of the bay, through the two peninsula points, which we have marked on the drawings.

The building envelope we kept simple and compact: a compact form saves on energy and construction costs, and this way, we could stretch the budget a bit to get beautiful & well-manufactured materials for the cottage, such as high-quality long-lasting wooden-interior, and aluminum-exterior windows, and a beautiful zinc roof which wraps around the entire building, tucking it safely inside a 50-year-rated exterior: so our clients could spend less time maintaining, and more time entertaining as the cottage aged with grace!

To keep a friendly & cottage-like permeability, or chit-chat with the trees and squirrels and owls and soft breezes, we added a wrap-around deck, which goes all the way around the building, and French-style-doorways with sliding screens, to get that breezy openness to sweep through the cottage on lazy summer days. Even the bedrooms, tucked into the East façade, and stacked two by two over top of each other, each have a corner of French doors: the two bottom rooms open to the exterior, so the first thing you can do when you get up, is put on a swimsuit and walk down to the lake. The two bedrooms topside also have corner doors to catch summer breezes, and leaning rails to take advantage of being outside—even indoors.

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The entry on the back of the house, from the laneway, looks through the stone-tiled hall, past coat & towel hooks, and through the far-side door, to the lake.

The kitchen, dining and living areas are a unified, double-height space, with a modern kitchen, and a great view down to the mouth of the bay, and out into the larger lake beyond.

A small staircase leads up through the entry hall, and to the upstairs desk & quiet-area, and the two upstairs rooms. Upstairs, there are two peek-a-boo doorway-openings to the double-height living area below, and symmetrical sliding wooden doors to the bedrooms, for a casual, country-style feel.

Overall, the design was compact and simple, but Giuseppe and I added some details such as whimsical custom eaves-drains, and a wooden fence-like wrap-around on the façade, to add some character & playfulness to the exterior design. We were extremely pleased to present this design to our clients. It was a great project to be a part of.