The Bigwin Island Club Cabins are located on an island, in the middle of a lake in the Muskoka region in Ontario, on the Canadian shield landscape. The design process of Mackay-Lyons Sweetapple architects was strongly driven by an attention to its natural context and its historical significance. Named for Chief John Bigwin, the island had been a place of significance to the region’s indigenous population and home to sacred spaces. Throughout the 20th century, the site had hosted a glittering luxury resort which had since fallen to disuse. property owner Jack Wadsworth, in his plan for the island’s revitalization, rejected a proposed 150-room hotel in favour of 40 guest houses designed with respect for the island’s history and the area’s distinctive architectural aesthetic.
The completion of the first three cabins of a larger planned community across Ontario’s Bigwin Island, the design team will strategically orient each of the planned forty cabins based on its relationship with the sweeping views, the lake, and the golf course, with an emphasis on a transparency between roof and floor, and earth and sky.