Blackened timber boathouse projects over an island shoreline

Blackened-timber boathouse completed by Weiss Architecture on a Canadian island

This blackened-timber boathouse and pavilion designed by Weiss Architecture occupies a cedar jetty that projects out from the rocky coastline of an Ontario island (+ slideshow).

A Modern Boathouse in a Canadian Landscape by Weiss Architecture

The boathouse and pavilion were designed by Toronto-based Weiss Architecture and Urbanism for a family that enjoys water sports and outdoor get-togethers.

The two structures are connected by a linear canopy and sit on a warm-toned cedar-wood pier off the granite shoreline of a small island in Georgian Bay, central Ontario.

A Modern Boathouse in a Canadian Landscape by Weiss Architecture

"Through careful form-making and the use of rustic materials, the project responds gently both to the natural and cultural context of the area, where historically built form yields to the power of the landscape with its exposed and glacially carved granite and windswept jack pines," said the architects.

A Modern Boathouse in a Canadian Landscape by Weiss Architecture

A steep granite trail descends to the boathouse through a thick coverage of native Jack pine trees. The sandy colour of the jetty reflects some of the tones of the granite shoreline.

A Modern Boathouse in a Canadian Landscape by Weiss Architecture

"On approach, due to its thinness, lightness and horizontality, the ensemble almost disappears as it recedes into the landscape," said the studio. "The landscape remains the dominant experience."

A Modern Boathouse in a Canadian Landscape by Weiss Architecture

The boat store is clad in horizontal lengths of black-stained cedar that are attached to the wooden framework with vertical lines of silvery tacks.

A Modern Boathouse in a Canadian Landscape by Weiss Architecture

Inside, skylights illuminate the natural cedar interior, while a row of orange lights dotted along one wall give the space a warm glow at night.

A Modern Boathouse in a Canadian Landscape by Weiss Architecture

Kayaks, canoes, windsurfing equipment and bicycles are supported on wooden brackets.

A Modern Boathouse in a Canadian Landscape by Weiss Architecture

Double doors open from the end of the store onto a small timber slipway, providing a direct route to the water.

A Modern Boathouse in a Canadian Landscape by Weiss Architecture

A kitchen with two open sides occupies one corner of the structure. A row of tall wooden bar stools sits around the edge of an L-shaped steel serving counter that brackets this corner.

A Modern Boathouse in a Canadian Landscape by Weiss Architecture

The area is sheltered by a linear canvas and steel canopy, which extends to connect the boathouse with a seating area under the pavilion at the end of the cedar jetty. A row of sun loungers and a wooden dining set sit within the shade of the canopy.

The pavilion has a steel structure that is covered in terne-coated copper – a metal alloy that prevents corrosion. A square of slatted timber sits directly above a U-shaped seating arrangement.

A Modern Boathouse in a Canadian Landscape by Weiss Architecture

A gangway slopes down to meet a dock that floats at right angles to the end of the pier.

Photography is by Arnaud Marthouret.


Project credits:

Conceptual design: Kevin Weiss, Maya Przybylski
Contract documentation: Kevin Weiss - Principal, Steve James (Larkin Architect Limited)
Kevin Weiss - Principal, Sophie Tremblay, Tings Chak (Weiss Architecture & Urbanism Limited)
Structural engineering: David Bowick, Matt Bowick (Blackwell Engineering)

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Location plan – click for larger image
A Modern Boathouse in a Canadian Landscape by Weiss Architecture
Plan – click for larger image
A Modern Boathouse in a Canadian Landscape by Weiss Architecture
Section – click for larger image