Three Charming Island Cabins Revitalize Their Beautiful Surroundings

Bigwin Island in Canada is an amazing retreat and also the subject of a major transformation over the past couple of years. In 2018 studio MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects started working on a project designed to revitalize the island.

The cabins are simple and are focus mainly on being practical yet they maintain a sophisticated allureView in gallery
The cabins are simple and are focus mainly on being practical yet they maintain a sophisticated allure

The plan consists of building 40 guest houses which are basically individual cabins. This option was prefered instead of a large 150-room hotel because it respect’s the island’s history and is better-suited overall. The architects won the competition with a modern design that respects nature, takes advantage of the landscape and the views and uses natural materials throughout.

The architectural aesthetic of the cabins is modern and simple yet at the same time intriguing View in gallery
The architectural aesthetic of the cabins is modern and simple yet at the same time intriguing
The glass pavilion allows lots of natural light to enter the cabin and creates a strong connection with the outdoorsView in gallery
The glass pavilion allows lots of natural light to enter the cabin and creates a strong connection with the outdoors
The design of the roof is distinctive, referencing the big historic cottages from this regionView in gallery
The design of the roof is distinctive, referencing the big historic cottages from this region

The first three cabins are complete. They’re nestled among maple, pine and ash trees and look down towards the golf course and the lake beyond that. Each cabin consists of a series of spaces including a screened-in porch, a deck, a sleeping area and a living and dining space contained within a glass pavilion.

The living and dining areas are very bright and open and offer panoramic views towards the lake and the golf courseView in gallery
The living and dining areas are very bright and open and offer panoramic views towards the lake and the golf course
The shiplap wooden walls also reference the interior of a canoeView in gallery
The shiplap wooden walls also reference the interior of a canoe
The kitchen is part of the living area and blends into the floor plan seamlesslyView in gallery
The kitchen is part of the living area and blends into the floor plan seamlessly

The cabins are clad in wood and reference the historic cottages in the area and boathouses through their design and architectural aesthetic. The ultimate goal is to create a community that blurs the boundaries between the individual cabins and brings everyone closer to nature and to each other.

The cabins blend in with their surroundings and ensure minimal disruption to the landView in gallery
The cabins blend in with their surroundings and ensure minimal disruption to the land
The cabins follow three design templates inspired by the different types of landscape on the islandView in gallery
The cabins follow three design templates inspired by the different types of landscape on the island
There are three types of landscape on the island: wooded areas, meadow and the lake regionView in gallery
There are three types of landscape on the island: wooded areas, meadow and the lake region
These are the first three cabins out of the 40 which will eventually occupy the islandView in gallery
These are the first three cabins out of the 40 which will eventually occupy the island