By v2com
Atop the steep topography of a lake-side site in Ontario, Canada, sits a holiday home that consists of two storeys stacked on top of one another.

The efficient holiday home is also called a Sky House.

The efficient holiday home is also called a Sky House.

Canadian designers, artists and educators – Julia Jamrozik and Coryn Kempster – were contracted to design this home that sits well on the steep site of Stoney Lake.

This house’s lower volume nestles into the landscape so that it is barely visible as you first approach the house. The upper volume rests on the lower one and on a concrete pier to form both a bridge and a cantilever. This massing strategy allows for increased access and permeability of the site and emphasises the charged relationship between the building and the ground.

Building features

Simple, low-maintenance, long-life materials are used on the façade, including a reflective standing seam metal roof and a lapped heat-treated (petrified) wood cladding, while the interior is lined with formaldehyde-free plywood. Playful elements are placed throughout from a glazed brick *socle for the wood stove, to scattered colourful coat-hooks and a custom-made under croft swing-bench.

The upper volume contains living spaces and opens up towards the lake while the lower volume is more enclosed and houses bedrooms. Responding to the need for accessibility for guests with disabilities, as well as thinking of the clients’ ability to use the building far into the future, a study / bedroom and accessible bathroom are provided on the main level. The roof of the lower bar becomes a terrace that allows for elevated views and a direct connection to the living spaces.

The factory-inspired skylights are rotated to admit north light without heat gain while orienting the solar panels due south, so the house can generate all its own power. The combination of vertical skylights and a fully glazed south-facing façade result in a generously daylit interior. A covered walkway shades the main wall of glass from summer sun while admitting lower winter sun to passively heat the dark-dyed concrete floor.

*A plain low block or plinth that serves as a support for a column, urn or statue or as the foundation of a wall.