Located along the shore of Contau Lake in a remote woodland three hours northeast of Toronto, The Bear Stand was designed as a secluded vacation retreat and a departure point to exploring the surrounding wilderness.
AIA Northwest & Pacific Region Merit Award
AIA Housing Award, One and Two Family Custom Residences
Residential Architect Design Awards, Custom House More Than 3,000 SF
Escape into Nature at The Bear Stand (Architizer)
Recalling childhood adventures exploring the surrounding lakes and forest, our clients wished to share this unique place by creating a retreat for vacationing families. The residence stretches parallel to the lake and an adjacent granite rock-face to the south, with primary living and dining spaces at ground level spilling to the outdoors and sleeping and bathing spaces perched above to capture views of the surrounding wilderness.
Exposed Douglas fir glulam beams and decking cantilever out over a rhythmic façade of black fiber-cement panels and stained cedar siding, inspired by the lines of the forest. Interiors are finished with fir windows, wire brushed walnut flooring, benches and bar tops reclaimed from a nearby barn, and hand-crafted tile. These materials lend a tactile, organic softness that blends seamlessly with the natural environment. A sauna, ofuro soaking tub, and screened porch provide sheltered areas for guests to relax in the outdoors.
The retreat is a jumping-off point to explore an expansive private trail network created by our client. A series of delicate canoe docks and boardwalks knit shallow marshes with hilltop perches, urging exploration by both water and land.