Set amid an enclave of seasonal, waterfront homes, Metrick Cottage is a one storey, semi-charred, wood-clad, residence and boathouse situated in Lake Joseph, Ontario. This multi-generational family retreat draws inspiration from the rugged beauty that surrounds it to create a warm, elegant, and eco-friendly home.
The main residence consists of three distinct ‘pods’ comprised of four bedrooms, four baths and an open living area in between. The boathouse is a complimentary, three-slip storage, set at water level. Uniquely sited, this 5,400 square foot property offers an unobstructed, panoramic view to the lake and shoreline beyond.
The design challenge was to create a home that expresses the use of all-natural, wood materials, keeping in mind that most construction products had to be brought over by boat to circumvent the dramatic inland topography. The materials also had to be durable and able to withstand the harsh seasonal climates without relying heavily on paints or stains. As a result, Douglas Fir timbers, cedar and torrified ash were selected as the main material components for their lightweight nature and modularity.
Once the wood was selected, the inherent properties of Douglas Fir wood siding, together with the technique of surface charring the wood known as shou sugi ban, informed the overall design. The charring creates a wear layer for increased durability and reduces its susceptibility to fire, pests, and rot over the life of the siding. It also creates a desirable aesthetic effect making the cottage appear as if it has been nestled in the forest for a long time.
The visible structural components such as the exposed roof rafters and the scissor joist, were carefully crafted, prefabricated, Douglas Fir. In order to accentuate the wood structure and create a seamless method of construction, a unique, custom anchoring and fastening system, developed with the structural engineer, was used and strategically lit to further emphasize its beauty. The hidden structural components used throughout were prefabricated wood TJI joists, wood wall structure framing and LVL beams which allowed for ease of transportability and reduced site waste.
Various textures of wood were used ranging from horizontal and vertical fir boards to dramatic, customized scissor-truss design with concealed fittings. Using the more rustic, rough-sawn fir cladding on the exterior allowed a complimentary finish to the rugged northern Ontario backdrop of boreal forest. In contrast, the interior of the cottage was finished with finely milled, torrified ash for the floor, wall, and ceiling boards offering a warm, intimate, and engaging family gathering and recreational space that provides a rich background to their daily activities.Warm and inviting, the Metrick Cottage and Boathouse is crafted to blend elegantly with their rugged surroundings to create a lasting Home.