AMBLINGS

A highly sophisticated place for contemplation in the boreal forest. A home nestled in the heart of a pristine forest on a private lake – a singular estate in total communion with nature.

The Villa du Lac du Castor is welcoming and warm – a refuge for artists, writers, nature lovers or hospitable hosts that rewards its inhabitants with a rare pleasure: the opportunity to slow down. The Villa does so, perhaps, by putting its only rule into force: the rule of the forest that sets its own rhythm, inciting dwellers to engage in activities that bring them back to what is essential and leaving them no other choice but to settle in.

The home’s harmonious relationship to the site is unique. In fact, the Villa is the only residence with a view of the lake. It is a comforting abode in the middle of the landscape, forever majestic and predominant. It is the green and the lushness of the summer, the colours and winds of autumn, the whiteness and purity of winter, and the scents and trickles of the spring. As asymmetrical trunks of jack pine rise inside and outside the Villa, the home and the forest seem to merge.

In fact, the careful consideration given to the elements on the site and the desire to marry the home and the landscape were the starting points to designing the Villa whose untreated Eastern white cedar exterior has acquired its own patina with time.

Situated in the province of Québec , Canada, in the Mauricie region, an immense territory of untouched lakes and forests, the Villa is on the fringes of the boreal forest, the world’s most vast.

Walking between a large northeast palissade – a reminder of the legacy of the traditional log house – and the oversize southwest windows that give onto the lake is like a stroll through the forest. In many spots, the treetops peek through. It is not uncommon to notice animals, and birds abound with their all-pervading songs. The stroll is always a pleasant one since, despite bitter winter winds or the darkest nights, one always feels comforted. The wood throughout the home gives the Villa a soothing warmth and the soaring fireplace in a central location inspires feelings of comfort and protection. Ambling through the house, one is surprised to happen upon the white marble bathroom whose main décor is the passing of the seasons or the gleaming stainless steel kitchen, both unexpected in such a place.

Suspended lighting fixtures – a supremely contemporary choice of fittings – light a most authentic wood burning stove. Where one would expect oil lamps, Ingo Maurer’s YaYaHos cut through the darkness on understated iron wires. Industrial blinds that descend from the ceiling to suit the needs of the moment filter the sunlight.

The Villa is four volumes of various heights and widths with assorted openings to the different viewpoints: the access path, the gardens, the lake and its island, the forest, a small bay, and the river in distance whose flow can be heard from the house. All living spaces have a view to the water and in summer-time extend onto a covered veranda.

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