aerieLOFT, 2009

was designed as an separate outdoor room for display at the 2009 Green Living Show. Instead of expanding and over-building in order to increase living space, the design objective was to facilitate contact with the natural environment with minimal impact.

1 Function: The structure serves as an exterior room or bunkie located in either cottage country or in a city backyard. For urban dwellers, it provides the vacation experience without leaving the backyard, saving time, money and greenhouse gases. For the cottage faithful, it pares down the experience to the bare essentials and provided a soaring white cedar, “back to nature” bunkie. Either way, it decreases the carbon footprint to an essential 108 square feet of living space.

2 Profitability: A ribbed overlapping cedar plank roof wall gives aerieLOFT its dominant shape. The opposing open floor to ceiling screen wall brings the outside in and expands the limited space. It is easy to be fully immersed in nature, while reading, napping or just standing in awe of nature. Fully sheltered from inclement weather and insects, it also has a sleeping loft to experience the nighttime sky without light or sound interference.

3 Aesthetics: The aerieLOFT is for those who want to experience comfortably the outdoors while being protected from the elements. As a result of minimal energy requirements, solar panels can be installed to provide electricity. Rainwater can be harvested from the large roof surface area. A separate white cedar water column and composting toilet allow for a total off the grid installation. The aerieLOFT can be purchased as a plan for those who wish to manage the project from start to finish, or as a kit with pre-assembled components for construction by either the DIY consumer or a carpenter.

4 Innovation: Too often in our attempts to be comfortable, we destroy the place where we go to seek refuge and sanctuary. We only have to go as far as our backyard to be in the natural world. When we go further into the Canadian Shield, we also do not want to simply recreate what we have left behind. By using local natural materials, by thinking small and tall, by defining what is essential for our comfort, then we provide for what we need and not design to what is available.

5 Accessibility/ Sustainability: All natural. All wood. All green. Easter white cedar is a plentiful, common native wood to Ontario. Its special oils make it resistant to rot, moisture and insects. It is harvested and supplied locally. It is 100% biodegradable. It is lightweight to transport, all of which minimizes the carbon footprint. It is a product that allows us to be in the natural world and at the same time protects that world.


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