Cottage on the Point | Paul Bernier Architecte

Cottage on the Point

The clients owned this log cabin which has been in the family for 40 years. It is anchored on a rocky point which juts out into the lake.

The project was to completely renovate this cottage and expand it to make it an open, fluid and bright space that takes advantage of the beautiful views overlooking the lake.

The proximity to the shore led the architects to plan the extension on top rather than on the sides. Only the screened porch was added at ground level. So, there was a challenge there. How to add a floor to this typical small log cabin with its sloping roof without denaturing it and losing its trace. The solution was not to pretend that this addition had always been there. The project had to allow the old and the new to be clearly visible.

Photography by © Raphaël Thibodeau

Contrast and continuity
The project is the meeting of 2 eras: the original log cabin and the contemporary addition. The original cabin is rustic, made of stones and logs with its sloping roof with wide overhangs. The addition is a clean and monolithic volume but whose material (wood) and color echo those of the original cottage. The various breaks in the roof slope of the addition also reflect those of the old cabin.

Inside, the beautiful old massive stone fireplace has been restored and is now visible on all sides, right in the center of the space. The new staircase is light and minimalistic.

It was also important to preserve the cathedral ceiling of the old cottage, even if a floor was to be added above. The old roof, which was frail, was completely removed and replaced by a Douglas fir structure replicating the slope and supporting the new floor.

Photography by © Raphaël Thibodeau

Light and views
Adding a story had a significant benefit that the clients and the architect could see by climbing onto the roof of the old cottage. This promontory offered an exceptional view of the lake and an opening to the sky that did not exist on the ground floor. This observation post has been given to the new master bedroom. From their bed, the owners have a breathtaking view of the beautiful tall pines, as well as the lake and the starry night sky.

The addition on the roof also serves to illuminate the ground floor. Through a large vertical opening on the east side, upstairs, the morning light enters inside and filters down to the lower level through the walkway floor made of translucent glass. A large window at the top of the stairs also acts as a skylight.

The new screened porch installed on the south side, offers another place to enjoy the outdoors in a space bathed with natural light.

Photography by © Raphaël Thibodeau

Materiality
The stone and the wood that make up the original cabin are also the main materials used for the interiors, in tone on tone. The other surfaces are mainly white, thus maximizing the light and highlighting the colors of the surrounding nature.

Photography by © Raphaël Thibodeau

Project Info:
Architects: Paul Bernier Architecte
Location: Canada
Area: 2700 ft²
Project Year: 2020
Photographs: Raphaël Thibodeau
Manufacturers: AlumicoAtelier Du Bois David Gilbert

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