Why Hire Us

In selecting Ian Maclaren Architect to help make their notion of cottage living a reality, our clients have consistently cited three characteristics that we believe are essential to any successful project:


In our experience, the best projects are realized when the client, architect and builder each contribute his or her ideas, concerns and enthusiasm throughout the design and construction process.

The result is a built form that could not have been imagined by any of these individuals alone, but instead benefits from the wider range of experience, observations and interests of each. When an interior designer and landscape architect join this conversation in the same respectful spirit, it can only help in crafting a unique and appropriate response to a particular client, site and time.


We prefer to be involved in a project from start to finish, inception to inhabitation. This allows us to carry the intentions of the project through to realization, to take our initial conversations and half-expressed early notions and give them form. With more than one project underway at any time, we can visit several sites in a day, ensuring we have a presence on site in a financially viable manner. Not only can this help avoid costly mistakes on site, but it also provides an opportunity for a builder or his team to propose alternative solutions to questions or opportunities that arise in the course of construction.


Ian Maclaren Architect draws on the experience of having designed over 100 unique cottage sites. From a cottage, boathouse or bunkie, to an artist’s studio, personal gym or permanent home on the water, we have addressed the unique regulatory, cultural and physical restraints of sites from Lake Huron and Georgian Bay to Muskoka, Lake of Bays, Haliburton, the Kawartha Lakes, Rideau Lakes and beyond.