When a family’s cabin on a remote lake in Ladysmith, Quebec, was too dilapidated to be renovated, they enlisted Kariouk Associates to help them create a new waterfront retreat.

Sitting on the footprint of the original building, the new cabin was prefabricated off-site and transported to the location for a quick assembly. This greatly lessened the cost, as well as the stress of long-term construction on the property.

To further cut on-site labor costs, the architects chose to construct the cabin entirely of cross-laminated timber (CLT). Made from cross-wise glue-laminated black spruce boards, CLT is a durable material that can be fabricated in panels up to 60 by 10 feet.

With the exception of the bathroom, which has whitewashed wood and a tile shower, nearly every interior surface of the prefab cabin is untreated CLT.

Commenting on the aesthetic of this practical material, the architects said: “While the technology to mill the CLT panels is modern, the cottage is in fact identical in construction and materiality to a traditional log home, where fully milled elements are simply joined together.”

Another aesthetic aspect of the property is the exposed electrical system, which adds an industrial element to the cabin. In the main living area, a large wall of windows embraces the lake views and extends out to a large deck space. [Information provided by Kariouk Associates; photographs by Christian Lalonde at Photolux Studio]