A luxurious space for entertainment, relaxation and beauty off of Lake Muskoka.
Built on one of the Muskoka lakes and surrounded by incredible views, this uniquely designed boathouse combines contemporary style with the natural landscape to create the ultimate entertainment space. Our clients knew that they wanted a remarkable, impressive outdoor recreation place to complement their future cottage compound, and at Gilbert + Burke, we knew that this project meant looking beyond the typical to create true magic, which involved using every single inch to make this a boathouse oasis. When the winter build was complete, and the project was wrapped up, our clients were left with an impeccably unique boathouse that put entertaining at the forefront, that worked with nature and highlighted the beauty of a Muskoka lakeshore.
What were some of the most interesting and captivating design choices?
When designing and building this luxurious custom boathouse, we knew that creativity was essential… as was going outside of the box to create this one of a kind boathouse. No detail was spared in this project, starting with the underwater LED lighting to illuminate the boat slip and the outdoor LED lighting that changes colour up the stairs and on the rooftop. The decking, which was meticulously scribed to the adjacent rock, includes the installation of thermally modified ash decking and a topless glass railing that allows for unobstructed views of the lake. With glass “garage doors” that open up the boathouse to the outdoors and a gas-fired firepit that elevates the typical rooftop experience; it’s evident that no detail was overlooked. The space was constructed with the leisure experience paramount. Rooftop guests can hang out at the outdoor bar or on the boat launch level.
What were some of the energy-efficient design elements?
When building this Muskoka boathouse, we knew that the design needed to complement the lake and shoreline. The steel structure was built on pile-driven posts over the water that tied back to the rocky shoreline, which was our way of making sure that the boathouse was steady and safe, without damaging the surrounding shoreline. We used thermally treated ash lumber for the boathouse decking inside and out and on the steps and the lower deck for a natural, weather-resistant material that works with the environment around it. The boathouse was also constructed with waterproof roofing and flooring for the deck surface to provide a non-slip walking surface. We worked meticulously with the surrounding earth to create a safe structure that didn’t negatively affect the surrounding nature area.
What made this beautiful project unique?
Many pieces of this Muskoka boathouse build were unique and captivating, from the way we maximized the potential for rooftop entertainment to the way we ensured that the build meshed with the earth. We worked on this project in the dead of winter to prepare for a summer end date, which meant that every detail of this build was typically accompanied by more than crisp air and plenty of challenges that added to its uniqueness, from snowmobile tool delivery to a staging area destroyed by winter storms to the use of a company barge until the new road was completed.
However, by the time this boathouse was completed, its owners saw a clean, sleek design blended with the environment to create a next-level boathouse with executive-level space and taste. To fit the unique requests of our client, we knew that creativity was key—which is why we maximized a functional usage of space by using everything from an exterior staircase to an opening exterior wall. The result? A true architectural masterpiece complete with a topless railing system to maximize lake viewability, stairs and deck carefully scribed into the rock and the ideal space for relaxing, dining and entertaining.