Two hours north of the city of Toronto you will find the Bridge House, facing Lake Mary in Muskoka (Port Sydney, Ontario, Canada). The house is occupied both in the summer, when the shore of the lake becomes a beach, as in the winter, when the scenery is covered with snow. The site tries to articulate a territory divided into two, becoming the organizing axis of the landscape, from where future interventions will occur.
Located on a ravine, between two large maple trees, the volume tries to affect as little as possible to the place. However, its geometry and location creates a contrast to the landscape by a horizontal line of 36 meters in length, at the most rugged point of the terrain. This gesture celebrates the experience of touring the place, not only through the ravine, but also down to the lake, crossing the house underneath, turning it into a portico that absorbs the monumental scale of the territory.
Two large facades are built along its rectangular volumetry. One exposes the house entirely to the lake, taking advantage of the infinite privacy condition given when facing the horizon. From here the house opens to the landscape as a balcony, suspended 6 meters above the gorge, placing the user in the middle of the treetops. The other façade, which faces the forest, has a great opening that follows the shape of the main structure, as an investment or reflection of the gorge itself.
This laminated wood structure supports the house in its suspended extension over the ravine (18 meters) by means of cables. It also fulfils a function as part of the volume of the external staircases, which symmetrically integrate the inner social area with the roof-terrace. Thus, the ensemble manages to transmit a sense of lightness and dynamism, framing the landscape from the inside, and allowing, from the outside, that the landscape penetrates the house from side to side.
The materiality of the house has been developed with various types of local wood in a very artisanal and detailed way, which generates a contrast and at the same time an resonance with the wood that is in the landscape. For the exterior surface, cedar strips were placed horizontally, emphasizing the gesture of the volume on the landscape. The interior used large-format maple plates, both for the floor, as well as for the walls and ceilings.
The clear and organic character of the maple allows the interior walls to function as a backdrop or screen that captures and amplifies the small changes that occur outside. The game of Light and shadow created by the movement of the trees that filter the light of the sun coincides with the sound of the water, echo of the small waves that lull.
LLAMA is a multidisciplinary design studio in Lima, directed by architect Mariana Leguía and urban planner Angus Laurie. Since 2011, LLAMA seeks to combine both design and urban interests within a single discourse.
In 2018 they were nominated for the MCHAP Prize, Mies Crown Hall America´s Prize, within the category of emerging architecture. In 2017 they were invited to represent Peru at the Ibero-American Architecture biennial BAL 2017 in Pamplona, Spain. In 2016 they won the first prize, together with Burgos & Garrido Arquitectos Asociados, in the international competition for the expansion of the Museum of Art of Lima. In the same year they received the recognition by the Ontario Wood Design Awards, in the residential category for their project of the house Puente.
They combine their project practice with research and teaching in the Faculty of Architecture of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru.