Perched on stilts in a forest two hours from Toronto, Nortehaus by MAFCOhouse architects is a modernist haven designed to recharge and refuel its residents with the power of the natural world that surrounds it.  

"We love," say the architects , "to build modernist homes that connect with and celebrate their natural environment." Nortehaus is a simple black rectangle, with floor-to-ceiling windows throughout and featuring natural textures - wood, stone, tiles - to minimalist interiors.

Japanese and Nordic influences, along with, say the architects, inspiration from mid-century International Style inform the design. Wood panels walls and lines ceilings, as if in tribute to trees beyond the windows.

There's a log burner for warmth. The owners commissioned Nortehaus as their personal escape, but a move to Portugal means - lucky us - it's available to rent for anyone keen on embracing this remarkable home's slice of slow living. Ensuite soak while forest bathing? Done.

This minimalist lake house brings the outdoors in.