Peter Groza, Gilbert + Burke’s very own Senior Designer who specializes in architectural mastery, designed his home in Georgian Bay for a wide range of living styles. Two people and three dogs are the main occupants, but it also supports large influxes of family and friends regularly. In fact, it can support up to 25 additional people! Each group of guests can be accommodated in areas with privacy, or not. It’s very customizable, and there are lots of spaces to spread out on to enjoy alone time or together time.

What made this project unique?

Design wise, it follows the topography of the bedrock, so no blasting was needed. With our deep respect for the land, we were also able to accommodate storage areas and cold storage underneath some cottage levels, while maintaining the integrity of the natural environment.

A low deck with no railings was designed to overlook the lake, despite a 15-foot drop from the driveway side to the lakeside. This was accomplished through many small-level changes throughout the house. You don’t feel the drop as you work toward the lakeside from the driveway entry.

What were some of the most interesting and captivating design choices?

Wide hallways and doorways and small sets of stairs that can easily be modified with ramps, if needed, allow planning for the future. The window scaping is unique, with one massive picture window in the great room and picture windows installed at eye height with opening awning windows above for circulation of air.

What were some of the energy-efficient design elements?

The home is cozy, yet updated without pretension. There are lots of wood and other interesting material finishes. It’s built on a large-mass concept, part of passive house design principles, and there is radiant heat installed over a deep layer of crushed gravel, with 3-times thickness of concrete over it. Once heated, it’s extremely energy efficient and comfortable.

Get to Know the Designer: A Conversation With Peter Groza