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Digital Subscriptions > Cottage Life > Mar/Apr 2019 > Old at heart

Old at heart

Why tear down the cherished place that keeps the family together? Instead, innovative design puts the treasured cottage at the core of this stylish remake

IT was A fresh,

early fall day when Barry Sampson and Judi Coburn arrived at Beech Lake in Haliburton, Ont., to ind their cottage hoisted 11 feet in the air.

A simple faux-log structure, the oneand- a-half-storey building was perched high on four stacked wooden cribs, looking a bit like a digniied older lady who’s lited up her skirt and found herself revealing bare legs underneath. “I actually felt sorry for the building,” Judi, a novelist and retired teacher, says with a laugh. “It seemed humiliated with its underside exposed.”

Barry saw it a bit diferently. “I had a sense of the old cottage up there like a sentry, seeing views it had never seen before,” he recalls. A retired University of Toronto architecture professor and a principal architect at Baird Sampson Neuert Architects—a irm perhaps best known for its work on the Niagara Parks Buterly Conservatory and the French River Provincial Park Visitor Centre— Barry had been planning and thinking about the project for years by then.

The cottage was hand-built by his father not long ater the end of the Second World War, but by the early 2000s, it needed a new foundation and a new roof. A long-time advocate for sustainable design, Barry wasn’t interested in knocking it down, throwing it in landill, and starting again, as many of their neighbours on the lake had done. Instead, he and Judi decided that they’d reimagine the old place along modernist lines, with an entirely new ground-level space beneath the old building and a vaulted lot above. The original structure would be wrapped, like a cherished treasure, in a loor-to-ceiling glass enclosure.

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About Cottage Life

Back together! Time to reunite with the cottage and all your favourite people and traditions. The Mar/Apr issue gets you ready to kick off a new season! Try these make-ahead breakfasts that let you feed everyone, no matter when they—or you—get up! Come aboard on a one-of-a-kind travelling dinner party Take a look inside a stylish modern update with a cherished family cottage at heart Ramp up your boat-trailering skills for a perfect put-in Navigate getting permits for removing water weeds Get space-saving tips from a tiny, chic DIY cabin Pack smarter: expert tips for weekend warriors Clean your eavestroughs, protect your projects, and build a fender system for your boat Stock up your workshop with a super-grabby glue and the saw blades you need Build a cool mountain-inspired shelf in a day Plus: Real estate 2019: Don’t miss our guide to vacant land to find out what to know before you buy