A Family Builds Their Dream Modern Home Overlooking the Georgian Bay

Western red cedar-clad home overlooking Georgian Bay.

The architects of AKB designed a south-facing facade, seen here, with recessed windows to minimize sun glare and solar heat gain. To the west is an assemblage of boreal trees—sugar maple, poplar, fir, hawthorn, cedar, and birch. The north looks out to the greater Georgian Bay. The home is clad in Western red cedar.


Often referred to as “the sixth great lake,” the granite-shored Georgian Bay presents a unique geological backdrop for Atelier Kastelic Buffey’s (AKB) two-story home nestled in a boreal landscape. The clients, a family of five, were originally living in Switzerland when Jeff, one of the homeowners, found this site on which he would help develop his future home. The family briefly lived in a preexisting bungalow on the site in order to experience first-hand and then ultimately design for the prevailing wind and sun patterns. This helped the family decide where to place the house on the site, how much they would excavate, and how they would program the house. AKB used a cut-and-fill strategy of excavating the shale bedrock for the house then using the rock to fill a depression near the pond for runoff waste management. The result is a 100-acre home in tune with nature and the family’s needs.