Project details

When a summer home is passed down to a new generation, as was the case with this timber-frame cottage, there can be tough decisions to make. In the case of this cottage that was passed from mother to son, the 70+ year-old structure was in a considerable state of decay. Building new on the pristine site proved to be the most logical choice for the son and his husband.

For sentimental reasons, the new home was to be the exact dimensions of the former and it was to sit in the exact same location, albeit with a far more open and modern spatial arrangement.

Being in such a remote location meant that skilled labour for a conventional building would not be available. So, in order to minimize the cost of skilled workers on the site while ensuring the highest quality of construction, the decision was made to pursue the use of prefabricated parts, and in this case, the material selected was Cross Laminated Timber (CLT).

A detailed computer model was generated for every surface of the cottage. It was then sent to a computer-controlled milling machine that produced the finished panels. The entire shell of the cottage was placed upon steel pile and then assembled in less than 2 days.

While the technology to mill the CLT panels is “modern,” the construction and materiality is comparable to a traditional log home where fully milled elements are simply joined together.

The enclosed sections beneath the cottage serve as sheds, and while the exterior of the CLT is clad in pine siding the interior walls are left unfinished with the exception of an almost industrial aesthetic achieved by exposing the electrical services, which are themselves made into ornament via pre-milled conduit recesses.

The end result honours the history of the previous home by adhering to its original footprint and maintaining a simple, unfinished, exposed interior – a design element that is very common to buildings of the original cottage’s vintage.


Ladysmith, Québec



Floor Plans and Drawings

In the media

Architizer – Midnight Maple: 12 Canadian Homes Cloaked in Black
Landscape World magazine cover thumbnail of Cross-Laminated Timer Cottage feature
Landscape World – Cross-Laminated-Timber Cottage
Living in Wood cover with feature of Cross-Laminated Timber Cottage
Living in Wood – Mulvagh-Crosby Cottage
Ottawa Magazine - Cottage Guide magazine cover thumbnail
Ottawa Magazine, Cottage Guide – Green and Simple
Ottawa Citizen: Modern Family CLT Cottage feature cover thumbnail
Ottawa Citizen – Modern Family Cottage Acknowledges the Original Building It Replaces
Architizer – The Future of Architecture: A Timber Revolution
Architizer – The Vernacular Log Cabin With the Spirit of Mies: 10 Hybrid Structures
Architizer: Framing the Land-scape: 10 Timber Lake House Designs