August 22, 2023

Muskoka Modern Prefab (480 Sq.Ft.)

Situated on the shores of Lake Muskoka, Ontario, the Muskoka Modern Prefab residence offers a unique, contemporary design by Toronto-based architecture firm, Altius. Accessible solely by water, this dwelling was installed from the lakeside. Leveraging the existing conditions of the site, which included a previously standing cottage, a meticulous analysis was undertaken in consultation with local authorities. This culminated in a decision to retain the original location of the cottage, leading to the replacement of the old structure with a new bunkie on the same site.

Given the parameters of water access and the desire to minimize site disruption, the adoption of prefab construction emerged as the logical choice. With a modular approach aligned with our prefab capabilities, the opportunity was seized to transport a unit by boat, placing it on the existing footprint.

The design accommodates the regulations that typically govern sleeping cabins on Ontario cottage properties, adhering to a footprint of approximately 600 sq. ft. However, through meticulous space optimization, this dwelling effectively accommodates two bedrooms, a full bathroom, and living space within an enclosed area of 480 sq. ft. The resulting design mimics the aesthetics of a corner unit condo found in urban high-rises, now harmoniously integrated into a natural landscape.

Our modular platform in the workshop enables us to craft structures ranging from 400 to 600 sq. ft. in a single module, a size range fitting for this context. This versatile construction approach extends to various applications, including boathouses, Muskoka Rooms, screen porches, small sleeping cabins, and diverse accessory structures like workshops, storage rooms, hybrid carports, or remote offices. Prefabrication champions efficiency, allowing for the rapid creation of intricate architectural products with minimal disruption to the site compared to traditional onsite construction.

The appeal of prefab construction stems from its swiftness and reduced environmental impact, prompting many clients to opt for this approach over conventional methods. The added advantage lies in the swift turnaround time, facilitating earlier access to their cottages.

In conventional onsite building, limited space translates to a mere two or three construction personnel working concurrently. Every trade necessitates equipment setup and takedown, introducing inefficiencies inherent to each structure. Prefabricated units assembled offsite enable economies of scale that elude traditional onsite ventures. Our shop environment accommodates a larger workforce simultaneously, eradicating the need for trades to commute to a remote site. This edge in efficiency manifests particularly well in the fabrication of these smaller units within our workshop.

Comparatively, our setup allows the kitchen installation and roof placement to happen concurrently. Materials remain sheltered from the elements, protected overnight, devoid of rain delays, pests, or the constant setup and disassembly of tools.

This project is a testament to our prowess in prefab construction, dispelling the notion that prefab units mimic trailers. As architects, we seamlessly merge exceptional design and finish with modular constructs, a divergence solely in construction technique and location. Our commitment to quality and sophistication is unwavering, whether crafting custom-site or custom-modular builds.

Images © Altius

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