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Royal Lake Resort is a 33-cottage lakefront development at Royal Lake in Ontario. The site, formerly used as seasonal trailer park, slopes up from the lakeshore to the edge of Trans Canada highway. Despite the physical proximity, the site is shielded from traffic noises by heavy foliage and the substantial elevation change between the highway and the property line. The challenge of the project was to develop a plan that would preserve the site’s natural character, maximize privacy between cottages and allow a view to the lake from each cottage. In order to minimize disturbance to vegetation, existing paths were used as access roads and channels for new services. Employing narrow cottage plans with staggered lots terraced below and above the access roads enables extended views, despite the relatively high-density of the development.

The project also included the design of six different cottage shells ranging from 900 square feet to 1,700 square feet. The shells were developed from a single concept: a fold that allows the intentionally narrow 16-foot floor plate to open as a wider cone toward the lake. Flipping the fold from side to another creates various privacy scenarios between cottages and thus allows each orientation to be adjusted according specific site conditions.

As pairing of shell type with a particular lot within the site is determined mainly by a purchaser of each lot, the shell types were designed to accommodate various terrain conditions. The alternatives include one and two storey solutions, cottages for flat, moderate, and steeply sloping lots, and option to purchase accessory buildings such as a garage, shed, sauna or a bunkhouse. Each shell also includes two alternatives for interior layout.