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Devil Lake House  

Located on a narrow ridge sloping toward a protected lake in Ontario, the Devil Lake House is conceived as a series of seasonal cabins that disperse and connect to take advantage of the panoramic views of the lake to the south and the forest to the west. The final structure creates a modern expansion to an existing multi-family compound overlooking Devil Lake.

With the freedom to eschew the technological or mechanical in favor of passive strategies of vernacular architecture, the new design proposes a series of elevated pavilions that construct a pure “Domino diagram” of the most fundamental architectural elements: floor plate and roof plane horizontals, vertical columns, and continuous glass encasement.

Each of the seven pavilions responds to a different site condition and interior program, from a master suite with guestroom and communal living, dining and kitchen space with an outdoor deck facing views to the west, to a sleeping cabin for 8 and a final guest cabin with outdoor shower facing the view to the south, the series of cottages is connected by a covered walkway. Perimeter room-to-room circulation maximizes passive cooling, ventilation, and social communication from the office’s signature “matrix plan”.

Conceived as a canopy umbrella structure, the pavilions are made from mass timber cross laminated panels elevated above the sloping ridge. The mass timber not only provides thermal insulation to the exterior but also sequesters carbon. Each mass timber roof canopy is rotated and sloped to respond to different specific internal and external views and functions, introducing individuality and site-specific relationships to view and program. The pavilions are connected by outdoor covered walkways and overlapping roofs, sponsoring a multi-family, intergenerational seasonal family compound.


Devil Lake, Ontario, Canada

Seasonal cottage

390 m² / 4,200 ft²

In construction

Noah Fritsch, Andrew Heid, Nanjia Jiang, Xianghui Kong, Chengliang Li, Tsung-Han Lin, Yuedong Lin, Yoki Luo, Praveen Menon, Jennifer Newman, Jianqing Shou, Tracy Tang, Guangyu Wang, Jingjing Wu, Ruoxi Xie, Julianna Yang, Shiyin Zeng, Xinglu Zhu

Fresco Construction, Schiller Co.

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