Contemporary Family Retreat On The Banks Of The Beautiful Huron Lake

In a small town close to London, Ontario there’s a gorgeous area filled with beautiful pine trees and a lovely view over Lake Huron. It’s here that architecture studio SAOTA together with their interiors division ARRCC took on the task to build a contemporary family retreat up a bluff between the forest and the lake.

This region is mostly characterized by lots of traditional cabins but rather than going down that route the team decided to take a different approach. The idea was to create a structure that would make a strong architectural statement but also be able to complement its natural surroundings and to remain fairly unobtrusive. The large fir trees help to conceal it and most of the house is obscured from the street. The entrance is marked by a large pivot door and leads into a triple-height atrium which reveals a magnificent view of the lake and surrounding landscape.

The house is built on a bluff between the lake and the nearby forestView in gallery
The house is built on a bluff between the lake and the nearby forest
The site is 3.5 meters above road level and the house is pushed towards the backView in gallery
The site is 3.5 meters above road level and the house is pushed towards the back
The front and the back sections have contrasting designs, one being closed off for private and the other being open towards the beautiful viewView in gallery
The front and the back sections have contrasting designs, one being closed off for private and the other being open towards the beautiful view

In contrast with the opaque front section of the house, the rear volumes are largely open in order to take full advantage of the beautiful panorama. A double height glass wall allows natural light to travel freely into the adjacent spaces and also frames the view. To the South there’s a large indoor-outdoor space which extends the living areas outside and frame the swimming pool. The volume on the upper floor is a private area and contains the master bedroom, an office and a home gym. As you might be able to tell, the layout as a whole is simple, easy to navigate and very fluid. There’s a large central volume surrounded by several smaller ones and they’re all connected seamlessly while still maintaining their individuality.

The swimming pool and adjacent wooden deck areas are framed by a manicured lawn and a covered indoor-outdoor areaView in gallery
The swimming pool and adjacent wooden deck areas are framed by a manicured lawn and a covered indoor-outdoor area
Large glass walls and sliding doors ensure a strong connection between the house and its magnificent surroundingsView in gallery
Large glass walls and sliding doors ensure a strong connection between the house and its magnificent surroundings
The indoor living areas is extended outside where there's a covered entertainment space with stylish furnitureView in gallery
The indoor living areas is extended outside where there’s a covered entertainment space with stylish furniture
A pathway leads down to a cabin which predates the house and which now functions as a guest houseView in gallery
A pathway leads down to a cabin which predates the house and which now functions as a guest house
An oversized pivot door marks the main entrance and welcomes guests into a large atriumView in gallery
An oversized pivot door marks the main entrance and welcomes guests into a large atrium
The living area and the kitchen are combined into a large open space with different ceiling heightsView in gallery
The living area and the kitchen are combined into a large open space with different ceiling heights
The large windows and extended ceiling height bring lots of natural light into all of the indoor living areasView in gallery
The large windows and extended ceiling height bring lots of natural light into all of the indoor living areas
Stylish wooden accents create various points of interest throughout the volumes while also adding warmth and texture to the interior designView in gallery
Stylish wooden accents create various points of interest throughout the volumes while also adding warmth and texture to the interior design
A large dining area with glamorous pendant lamps gets to enjoy a clean and unobstructed view towards the lakeView in gallery
A large dining area with glamorous pendant lamps gets to enjoy a clean and unobstructed view towards the lake
The minimalist contemporary interior design is complemented by a very casual and inviting atmosphereView in gallery
The minimalist contemporary interior design is complemented by a very casual and inviting atmosphere
The private areas of the house enjoy some of the best views from the upper floorView in gallery
The private areas of the house enjoy some of the best views from the upper floor
A designated recreational room is fitted with a pool table, comfortable lounging furniture and soothing ambient lightsView in gallery
A designated recreational room is fitted with a pool table, comfortable lounging furniture and soothing ambient lights
The master bedroom enjoys a panoramic view over the lake and the beautiful treesView in gallery
The master bedroom enjoys a panoramic view over the lake and the beautiful trees
From a simplified structural point of view, the house is a series of stacked and suspended rectangular volumesView in gallery
From a simplified structural point of view, the house is a series of stacked and suspended rectangular volumes