Shift Cottage by Superkül Inc.

Shift Cottage is a 2000 square-foot cottage located in Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada, designed by Superkül Inc.

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On the edge of a Precambrian granite island, the site for this 2000 square-foot cottage was chosen for its topography and its orientation; nestled into the rock and against a line of trees, the cottage is sheltered from the winds that whip across the island, with long views of the lake.In form and material the cottage is married to its landscape of water, rock and sky. The graphic lines of the cottage contrast and highlight the forms of the wind-shaped trees and the granite; the massing of the cottage and the use of elemental materials — wood and stone — knit it in.A glass walkway links the cottage’s two principal volumes. The living spaces are in the bar closest to the shore; bedrooms are contained in the bar against the treeline. Window openings are aligned to allow through views to the trees behind and the open water in front. A cedar deckaround the cottage terraces down to meet the rock; it hosts outdoor living spaces including a contained children’s play area and a private outdoor shower.In keeping with the family’s inter-generational stewardship of the island, the cottage was designed to tread lightly on the land; the design was based on locally available construction materials and equipment that were in both size and weight easily barged in, managed and moved by one pair of hands. Sited in a natural clearing, no vegetation was destroyed to make the site. Pier foundations both obviated any blasting of the rock, and allow for passive under-croft cooling. The cottage is passively lit during the day, ventilated, cooled, and the use of local and natural materials left largely in their unfi nished states leaves a smaller footprint.

Photography courtesy of Superkül Inc.

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- by Matt Watts