A stunning retreat wrapped in luxury
Nestled on Lake Simcoe, this retreat was built and designed to marry together impeccable taste and innovative techniques. The mountain contemporary style set this project apart, and including a home theatre, gym, sauna, golf simulator, 3 car coach house and boathouse made this project an incredibly fun, unique experience for us and for the clients. We stopped at nothing to make every detail of this build luxurious and memorable. With a 3-stage construction involving the main dwelling, coach house and boathouse, this was a massive undertaking.
What made this beautiful project unique?
The sheer scale of the Lake Simcoe Retreat build made this project incredibly challenging, as did the responsibility of creating a luxurious escape that melded together natural materials, simplicity with a contemporary flair. This custom summer home was designed with the future in mind, creating a space for everyone from guests to future grandchildren to enjoy. On the main floor, we worked to create a chef’s dream, complete with an absolutely striking kitchen with a massive island for gatherings a chef’s preparation area. The main floor also includes an impressive dining area, a great room for gatherings and a master “wing”. The focus on luxury and enjoyment is felt all around the home, especially in the stunning, sunken entertainment area with movie theatre seats, custom built-ins and professional audio/video equipment that flows into the home gym, golf simulator and sauna bathroom. As with any Gilbert + Burke project, the outdoors were just as important as the indoors — the outdoor living experience was paramount in the build, starting with innovative landscaping all the way to creating an imitable view. As it is with any massive project, there were guidelines to follow and hoops to jump through to ensure a compliant, on-time build. With the Lake Simcoe Retreat project, we negotiated often with the municipality to ensure that we were in compliance and to ensure that we were remaining environmentally conscious and sound.
What were some of the most interesting and captivating design choices?
With the Lake Simcoe Retreat, we focused on creating a mountain contemporary look that was achieved by the use of BC stone cladding, Douglas Fir timber frame and huge windows to bring the outdoors in. Keeping an expansive lake view was hugely important to the clients, as was maximizing space in whatever ways we could. To add extra touches to the project, we created a special starry sky in the home theatre (which was impeccably designed in itself) and built a massive fireplace feature wall juxtaposed with a window wall with stunning views of the lake and terrace. Luxurious touches are everywhere in every aspect of the build, from kitchen furnishings to wall finishings. One of the most challenging (yet imperative) pieces of the build involved building an elevated terrace without a railing to enhance the outdoor views for our client. With a lot of innovation and municipal planning coordination, we were able to grade the site to eliminate the need for a railing or wall, and the stunning terrace was clad in Italian stone tile and surrounded by wrap-around flower beds.
What were some of the energy-efficient design elements?
With such a massive build, sustainability and energy efficiency is a massively important undertaking. For the Lake Simcoe Retreat, we chose radiant heat, ICF foundations, and above code required insulation. Additionally, it was of the utmost importance that we worked to conserve the surrounding area during the build. With all aspects of permitting for each building and the landscaping, we worked tirelessly with the municipality and conservation authority to ensure compliance by doing everything from participating in analyzing the soil to revising grading plans.