Architecture

Muskoka Boathouse

Words by Jillian Japka

Muskoka Boathouse by Akb

A stunning dwelling by Akb Architects draws inspiration from a surprisingly simple source: the wooden docks found scattered around the Muskoka lakes in Canada. Muskoka Boathouse is part dock itself, with a long deck that covers its perimeter and stretches out towards the water. The design of the boathouse was influenced by its closest neighbour, water. Recalling the movement of water, sliding planes define the architecture of the residence.

Muskoka Boathouse by Akb
Muskoka Boathouse by Akb

Technically a guest house for the adjacent main cabin, the boathouse features an easy floor plan, with the living area, kitchen, and two bedrooms on the upper level and the actual boathouse below. Warm wood covers the walls, echoing the exterior siding. The floors are polished concrete and covered with practical, comfortable furnishings. The real showstopper in the interior is the floor to ceiling windows. Positioned expertly towards the lake and terraces, the windows allow the scenic surroundings to take centre stage. From the living area, one can gaze upon the lake and wooded areas near the home, and feel as if you are nearly outside.

Muskoka Boathouse by Akb
Muskoka Boathouse by Akb

The boathouse is just as focused on exterior function as the interior. Muskoka Boathouse features an expansive wooden terrace that serves far more than a place for the boats to tie. The southern part of the terrace, closest to the lake, is exposed to the elements. It is the perfect place for sunbathing or diving into the lake for a swim. Back towards the house, a cantilevered trellis is covered with wood screen. The trellis provides a shaded area for entertaining and also gives a bit of privacy lacking on the southern portion. Stretching towards the woods, the elegant trellis frames the lake in a beautiful moment that feels like the true centre of the home.

Muskoka Boathouse by Akb
Muskoka Boathouse by Akb

The lovely deep colour of Muskoka Boathouse was derived using a Japanese process call Shou Sugi Ban. With Shou Sugi Ban, cedar wood is charred to preserve the finish and protect against natural weathering. The dark form of the structure appears to float above the lake, pulling out the deeper colours of the water that reflects it. Muskoka Boathouse features a classic form and timeless finishes. Combined with its idyllic location, the Boathouse is a restorative getaway for its lucky visitors.

Muskoka Boathouse by Akb
Muskoka Boathouse by Akb
Architecture
Akb Architects
Construction
Mazenga Building Group
Photography
Shai Gil
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