2024 RDAA | Custom Rural or Vacation House | Birdhouse | Superkül

Inspired by the simple birdhouses a previous owner left on the site, this house stands out for its pure form and exquisite scale. Covered in lightly charred cedar, it recedes into the trees that populate this point of land. That was important because the house sits close to the water. “Our clients wanted something quiet and sublime that didn’t become a feature of the lake,” says Meg Graham, FRAIC. 

Its interiors reflect the natural environment too. The slatted arrival porch along the side of the house opens to the bedroom level, where the primary suite commands views of the lake. Downstairs, a blackened steel fireplace anchors the public zone facing the water, while service spaces and a game room occupy the front of the house. Flat-sawn white oak veneer over plywood wraps almost every surface, creating a tranquil atmosphere. Darker materials—concrete floors on the lake level and porcelain bathroom tiles—ground the monochromatic palette. 

“Using the same materials, paying attention to fine details and lines, and concealing things necessary for everyday life help to create a serene base,” adds project architect Will Elsworthy, OAA. Our jury agreed. “The house is a great size and the interiors are spare. It’s tight and well thought out, unique.” 

Custom Rural or Vacation House



Apsley, Ontario, Canada

Architect: Meg Graham, FRAIC, partner in charge; Will Elsworthy, OAA (Ontario Association of Architects), principal/project manager, Superkül, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Builder: Brinkman Construction, Toronto, Ontario

Interior designer: Superkül

Structure engineer: Blackwell Structural Engineers, Toronto

Mechanical engineer: Bowser Technical, Brantford, Ontario

Metalwork: Enderman’s Ironcraft, Orangeville, Ontario

Project size: 2,945 square feet

Site size: 2 acres

Construction cost: Withheld

Photography: doublespace photography

Cabinetry: Mill Line Woodworking

Cladding: Kindl Shou Sugi Ban cedar

Countertops: Caesarstone

Faucets: Franke, Aquabrass, Hansgrohe, Axor

Fireplace: Stüv, Ortal

Flooring: Moncer 

Insulation and moisture barriers: Rockwool, Blueskin

Lighting: Liteline, Zaniboni, tossB, Viabizzuno, LumenTruss, Cedar & Moss, Viso

Lighting control systems: Lutron

Millwork: Mill Line Woodworking

Roofing: Agway

Roof Windows: VELUX

Sinks: Blanco, Mirabelle

Surfacing: Laminam

Toilets: TOTO

Tub: Bartok design

Window shading systems: Solarfective