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This Great Lakes Retreat Brings Rural Modernism to Ontario’s Wilderness

Nearby, the coastal waters of Lake Huron quietly break on the shores of Parry Sound. The same glaciers that once formed the Great Lakes left behind hundreds of smaller lakes in Southern Ontario, one of which is now home to a marvel of modern architecture. The Clear Lake House by MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects is a peaceful vacation home for a family of five. It presents the perfect escape from their home town of Toronto, a rich, natural landscape where the worries of city seem to set with the sun.

Clear Lake House by MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects 1 This Great Lakes Retreat Brings Rural Modernism to Ontarios Wilderness

“With a quick slide of the glass door, a guest instantly feels far away from the hustle and bustle of Toronto.”

Clear Lake House by MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects 2

The Clear Lake House is defined by a long volume that is aligned in parallel with the lake. The length of the home features large windows which bring the scenery within, allowing its occupants to take in the local nature whether they’re indoors or out. The second level of the home is inspired by a big top tent, with supports that lift the roof above the home in an offset manner. The ceiling seems to angle down from these supports in a faceted fashion, as if the home was a wooden tent under the Parry Sound pines.

The interior of the Clear Lake House comprises stained plywood surfaces that are accented with black wooden features. The upper level is an open loft, which adds additional headroom to the bottom level. As a result, the home offers an open lifestyle to its occupants, but it still has the intimacy and calm of a traditional vacation cottage.

Clear Lake House by MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects 6

Clear Lake House by MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects 7

A special emphasis was placed on privacy for the Clear Lake House. The front approach of the home is tucked into the pines, while the facade of the house presents slatted windows to the front. The interior is obscured by the trees and vertical windows, providing private living to those within.

The rear of the house, however, is open and intimately connected to the scenery around it. A doorwall is often the only thing separating a guest from the woods and lake around it. With a quick slide of the glass door, a guest instantly feels far away from the hustle and bustle of Toronto.

Clear Lake House by MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects 9

Clear Lake House by MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects 3

[Photography by A-Frame Studio]

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