Yukon Cottage Development
This development of 80 dwellings on Bennett Lake in Carcross, Yukon, was commissioned by a Whitehorse developer to capitalize on the opportunity to make Carcross a destination for outdoor activity enthusiasts. The program called for 1,000 square foot single family dwellings that were open concept, variations on one- and two-storeys, and had views to the lake and mountains beyond. The site presented several challenges. A rolling topography, wind erosion, and sensitive natural vegetation required a careful approach to construction in order to minimize site disturbance. The proposed cottage dwellings are designed to sit lightly on the land, appearing to float over the rolling topography so as not to detract from the glory of the landscape that they inhabit. They are constructed on two long concrete grade beams supported by helical piers along their length, minimizing site impact but nestling into the shifting sands. An extruded wood frame encompasses the dwelling and an outdoor storage area, but extends over the glazed façade to protect from snow and blowing sands, as well as to provide privacy. The long, covered outdoor area for storage of equipment and firewood is sheltered by a screened wall of open wood boards that allow natural light to penetrate the space. Clad in local red cedar that ages over time from warm tones to a sandy colour and then to grey, this is a material that has longevity and at all stages blends in with the landscape.