Shane Williamson turned to a two-room doghouse commonly found in the American Southeast as the design inspiration for a compact cottage that celebrates the warm winds of summer.
The assistant professor in the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design and his wife, architect Betsy Williamson, link the rooms in Dogtrot with a covered porch, which Shane eloquently calls “a breezeway.” Mother Nature not only provides the ventilation system; she supplies the construction materials, Douglas fir and cedar. In return, Dogtrot leaves only a minimal footprint on the dark forest floor. Tuck a composting toilet in the privacy of the bush, and you’re set for the summer.
Or use Dogtrot as an adjunct to your main cottage. Shane sees its potential as a fresh take on bunkhouses, often seen behind cottages in northern Ontario. These bunkies, which typically hold only bunk beds, can be constructed without a building permit because they’re less than 100 square feet. Dogtrot doesn’t need a permit either, because the rooms that straddle the porch are each below the limit. And with Dogtrot’s additional room, you have space for even more friends.