Lake Cottage with mirrored entrance
by UUfie


This extension to a woodland home in Ontario by Canadian studio UUfie features charred cedar walls and a mirrored entrance (+ slideshow).

Lake Cottage By UUfie

Japanese architect Eiri Ota and Canadian architect Irene Gardpoit Chan of UUfie designed the small cabin, named Lake Cottage, to add large living and dining rooms to a family house beside the Kawartha Lakes.

Lake Cottage By UUfie

The structure has a steeply pitched roof covered with black steel, while its two gabled ends are clad with cedar that has been charred to protect it from termites and fire.

Lake Cottage By UUfie

"Lake Cottage is a reinterpretation of living in a tree house where nature is an integral part of the building," said the architects, whose past projects include an apartment with velvet curtains for partitions.

Lake Cottage By UUfie

The entrance sits within a sheltered recess that spans the front of the cabin. Mirrored panels cover the sides and ceiling of the space, intended to integrate the building with the forest by reflecting the surrounding trees.

Lake Cottage By UUfie

A living room occupies a rectangular central space, while the dining room forms a link to the existing house.

Lake Cottage By UUfie

A staircase made from a single log leads up to the first-floor attic, where walls follow the steep angle of the roof. Rounded wooden shingles decorate one side and are visible from the living room through a row of internal windows.

Lake Cottage By UUfie

Timber panels line walls, floors and ceilings elsewhere in the cabin, and a wood-burning stove keeps the space warm during cold winter months.

Lake Cottage By UUfie

Photography is by Naho Kubota.

Here's some information from UUfie:

Lake Cottage

Lake Cottage is a reinterpretation of living in a tree house where nature is an integral part of the building. In a forest of birch and spruce trees along the Kawartha Lakes, the cottage is designed as a two storey, multi-uses space for a large family. The structure composed of a 7 metre-high A-frame pitch roof covered in black steel and charred cedar siding. A deep cut in the building volume creates a cantilever overhang for a protected outdoor terrace with mirrors to further give the illusion of the building containing the forest inside.

Lake Cottage By UUfie

This mixture of feeling between nature and building continue into the interior. The main living space is design as a self-contained interior volume, while the peripheral rooms are treated as part of the building site. Fourteen openings into this grand living space reveal both inhabited spaces, skies and trees, equally treated and further articulated with edges finishes of interior panel kept raw to show the inherit nature of materials used. This abstract nature of the interior spaces allows imagination to flow, and those spaces that could be identified as a domestic interior can suddenly become play spaces. A solid timber staircase leads to a loft which has the feeling of ascending into tree canopies as sunlight softy falls on wall covered in fish-scaled shingle stained in light blue.

Lake Cottage By UUfie

Using local materials and traditional construction methods, the cottage incorporated sustainable principles. The black wood cladding of exterior is a technique of charring cedar that acts as a natural agent against termite and fire. Thick walls and roof provide high insulation value, a central wood hearth provides heat and deep recessed windows and skylights provide natural ventilation and lighting.

Lake Cottage By UUfie

Lake Cottage is designed with interior and exterior spaces connected fluidly and repeat the experience of living within the branches of a tree.

Lake Cottage By UUfie

Title: Lake Cottage
Location: Bolsover, Ontario
Architect: UUfie
General contractor: Level Design Build
Principal use: cottage
Total floor area: 65.00sqm
Structure: wood
Design period: 2010.1-2010.8
Construction period: 2010.10-2013.1

Site plan of Lake Cottage By UUfie
Site plan
Ground floor plan of Lake Cottage By UUfie
Ground floor plan
First floor plan of Lake Cottage By UUfie
First floor plan
Section of Lake Cottage By UUfie
  • Jerboa

    Unfortunately this will be a nightmare situation for birds in flight. There are far too many documented deaths of birds already in the city of Toronto Ontario because of the reflections on glass and light pollution. The birds cannot discern a reflection from the actual tree/environment and will consequently fly full speed into the mirror.

  • RjMoran

    Obviously the architect AND client don’t care about dead birds!

  • David

    That reflective wall is going to look great until a deer runs headlong into it.

  • esaase

    Poor birds.

  • parabola

    Really talented designers and a brilliant design from the spacial concept through to the detailing.

  • Douglas Montgomery

    To convey the full implications of this mirror, I think it pays to be precise – they don’t care about live birds!

  • Douglas Montgomery

    Though their execution will be conducted in an undoubtedly beautiful space.

  • Massimo

    Great houses (like this) are always biult in remote places. So my question is: should we avoid contact with common people to own one of them? Or better, owning a private house will be a luxury that sacrifices social life?
    Don’t wanna be rude, but this blog is not about birds and wildlife.. it’s about houses! you can rise your fists against this massacre somewhere else…

    • Jerboa

      The comment about birds and wildlife was not made in order to raise fists. On the contrary, it was the first thing that came to my mind and hopefully initiates a worthy discussion. I don’t have all the answers, but do you think this is an example of design for the sake of design? It warrants discussion based on the architects comment:

      “Lake Cottage is a reinterpretation of living in a tree house where nature is an integral part of the building”.

  • Deleite Design

    Amazing integration with nature! Loving it.

  • Concerned Citizen

    How does this addition integrate with the existing? Based on the floor plans, not very well. There is a stair opening directly into the only path between the addition and the existing. The rail-less stair leads to a high, but useless loft. The space could have been better used in the room below, and the stair would not interfere with primary circulation.

    And I agree with all the mirror comments.

  • steven fleming

    All remote houses kill wild life, because they accessible only via gratuitous car trips.

    • Concerned Citizen

      An overly broad, but inaccurate generalisation.

  • Arsetecture

    I really liked this extension until I read all the comments on this blog. Now I have been convinced that it is just horrible.

  • cole

    Beautiful. Sense of serenity and connection with nature. Love the little details such as the graphic nature of the windows. There even a hidden door that someone seems to have missed from the plans. Unique.

  • JMinnick

    As long as they eat the birds I’m cool with the mirrors.

  • imwang

    Mirrors and birds were my first thoughts. I can think of ten other ways for the build to blend with the surroundings.

    Somebody is taking someone’s cash for the silly design. Probably some new form of therapy.

  • Beautiful living room detail; still more design by folks who have never been outdoors. Not just a bird killer.

    There are no termites in the Kawarthas. That was funny. Lovely windows. Looks to be well insulated.

    I imagine once they get tired of all the racoon and skunks coming by to clean up the dead birds they’ll change out the mirrors outside.