Metrick Cottage and Boathouse, Ontario, Canada: Photography by Shai Gil, courtesy of AKB Architects | Designed to blend elegantly with the surrounding rugged Ontario landscape, the Metrick cottage and boathouse is the perfect seasonal home getaway for the owners on the banks of Lake Joseph. It sits among other seasonal homes on the waterfront as a one-story wood-clad residence built to house multiple generations in an eco-friendly manner. The boathouse, situated at water level with three available slips, is part of the 5,400 square-foot property with an unobstructed view of the lake and its shoreline. The designers at AKB Architecture knew that the home was to be mainly comprised of all-natural wood materials, such as Douglas fir timbers and cedar decks, most of which had to be transported by boat due to the challenging topography. In addition to fitting the desired aesthetic, the natural wood materials were also durable enough to withstand the harsh Ontario climates. To further its durability, designers employed the surface charring method of shou sugi ban; charring of this type reduces the wood’s susceptibility to fire, pests and rot. Finally, shou sugi ban makes the cottage seem as if it was made to be there! Created as the perfect boreal forest retreat, the Metrick cottage and boathouse is an astounding example of the waterfront lifestyle.
Punta Majahua,Troncones, Mexico: Photography courtesy of Zozaya Arquitectos | Nestled on the coast of the Mexican village Troncones is beachside apartment complex, Punta Majahua. Created by Zozaya Architectos to mimic the curvy beachfront and sloping morphology of the surrounding area, the complex is made of six buildings containing 39 individual residences in total. The curved masonry walls not only take on the fluidity and relaxing nature of waves, but they also provide better views of the coastline by eliminating right angles according to Daniel Zozaya, director of the architecture firm. The masonry walls were made thick to help control the heat of the area. While the angles and design of the buildings are new and striking, the architects strived to use only local materials rooted in tradition to help the apartments blend in with other developments. The interiors were treated with equal importance, featuring embedded river stones in the flooring, local parota wood and bamboo for the cabinetry, ivory-colored quartz for kitchen countertops and traditional thatched roofs on the exterior to create shaded havens for residents. Punta Majahua is a beautiful and sensible addition to the serene coastline.