uufie reinterpret tree house in canadian lake cottage
uufie reinterpret tree house in canadian lake cottage uufie reinterpret tree house in canadian lake cottage
nov 04, 2013

uufie reinterpret tree house in canadian lake cottage

uufie reinterpret tree house in canadian lake cottage
all images courtesy of uufie




re-envisioning a typical tree house, canadian architecture firm uufie have designed this ‘lake cottage’, where nature is an integral part of the building. the house is located in bolsover, ontario, canada surrounded by birch and spruce tree forest along the kawartha lakes. the two-storey structure is composed of a 7m high a-frame pitch roof, covered in black steel and charred cedar cladding. accommodating a large family, the multi-use interior features a deep cut in the volume, to create a cantilevered overhang. the protected terrace is visible from the exterior, where a series of mirrors reflect trees onto its surface to further enhance the illusion of bringing the forest into the building. the sensation of the built form merging with nature is continued onto the interior – the living space is organized as a self-contained unit, while the peripheral rooms extend outwards to the forest.



the surrounding forest becomes an integral part of the building
image © uufie



fourteen openings reveal the living unit from different perspectives, including the inhabited spaces, and also the skies and trees. the elements are treated with articulated edges and finishes using rough panels to show the inherent nature of the materials. the abstract treatment of the interior aims to foster one’s imagination, re-examining it as a potential play area. a solid timber staircase leads to a loft, evoking the feeling of ascending into tree canopies with reflected sunlight softly falling onto the light-blue fish-scaled shingle wall.



looking into the cut-out terrace with trees reflected onto its surface
image © naho kubota



the ‘lake cottage’ was built using local materials and construction methods, integrating sustainability principles into its design. the black and wood cladding on the exterior uses a technique of charring cedar, a natural protector against termites and fire. the thick walls and roof structure provide high-levels of insulation with a central wooded hearth to create heat. deep recessed windows and skylights also offer natural ventilation and lighting into the interior volume. the carefully constructed details help to connect the interior with the world outside, enhancing the experience of living within the branches of a tree.



the terrace is formed by a cantilevered structure covered with mirrors, reflecting the surrounding forest
image © naho kubota



the dining space with its direct connection to the outside forest
image © naho kubota



the dining room with cut-out windows through to the adjacent space
image © naho kubota



the living space within the a-frame structure
image © naho kubota



looking down into the main living room from above
image © naho kubota



the tree-house like loft features a fish-scaled shingle wall stained in light blue
image © naho kubota



window detail
image © uufie + naho kubota



windows that look through to the living spaces
image © uufie + naho kubota



stair detail
image © naho kubota






project info:


title: lake cottage
location: bolsover, ontario, canada
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
photographer: naho kubota, uufie



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

  • Many cool elements and looks. Kudos.


    JimCan says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
502,531 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample