Contrast & Continuity

Paul Bernier Architecte renovation of this log cabin, which has been in the family for 40 years, allows the old and the new to be clearly visible

Paul Bernier Architecte renovation of this log cabin

The log cabin is anchored on a rocky point which juts out into the lake. The proximity to the shore led the architects to plan the extension on top rather than on the sides. Only the screened porch was added at ground level so there was a challenge there. How to add a floor to this typical small log cabin with its sloping roof without denaturing it and losing its trace?

Paul Bernier Architecte renovation of this log cabin

The brief was to completely renovate the cottage and expand it to make it an open, fluid, and bright space that takes advantage of the beautiful views overlooking the lake. The design theme is the meeting of two eras: the original log cabin and the contemporary addition. The original cabin is rustic, made of stone and logs with a sloping roof with wide overhangs. The addition is a clean and monolithic volume but whose material (wood) and colour echo those of the original cottage. The various breaks in the roof slope of the addition also reflect those of the old cabin.

Paul Bernier Architecte renovation of this log cabin

There is also, even in the original cottage, a certain mix of styles, with modern elements, such as the slanted windows, characteristic of the period of the 1950s to 1970s.

The beautiful old massive stone fireplace has been restored and the new staircase is light and minimalistic. To preserve the old cathedral ceiling, the old roof was completely removed and replaced by a Douglas fir structure replicating the slope and supporting the new floor. Outside, the old roof profile of the original cabin is still visible.

Paul Bernier Architecte renovation of this log cabin

The top floor offers exceptional views of the lake, tall pine trees, and an opening to the sky. The addition on the roof also serves to illuminate the ground floor. Through a large vertical opening on the east side, upstairs, the morning light enters inside and filters down to the lower level through the walkway floor made of translucent glass. A large window at the top of the stairs also acts as a skylight and offers view of the sky.

The new screened porch installed on the south side and fitted with 2 skylights discreetly inserted into the structure, offers another place to enjoy the outdoors in a space bathed in natural light.

Paul Bernier Architecte renovation of this log cabin

The old cabin is made of logs and sits on a stone foundation. This stone base, anchored on the rock cap from which the site is made, helps to integrate the cabin into its natural environment. Stone and solid wood are also used in the interiors. The other surfaces are mainly white, thus maximizing the light and highlighting the colours of the surrounding nature.

Photo credit: Raphaël Thibodeau
Source: v2com