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Cottage Life with Class: Grads create fully-functioning bunkie

July 29, 2014

It’s a time-honoured Canadian summer ritual: a weekend spent at a cottage by the lake. Architectural Technology Grads Nathan Buhler and Jorge Torres have created a modern way to enjoy nature in style with The Bunkie, a fusion of function and design that has generated buzz at home and internationally.

Called a highly functional, transformative space in elegant form” by Canadian Interiors, The Bunkie is complete with fireplace and built-in Murphy beds. The prefabricated structure is shipped flat, and, at just under 10 square metres, The Bunkie doesn’t require a building permit. Unveiled at the IIDEX interior design show in Toronto last November, the structure has garnered interest from as far away as Finland and Japan.

Co-founders of Toronto design firm, BLDG Workshop, Nathan and Jorge created The Bunkie in collaboration with designer Evan Bare and business partner Jim Moore. Nathan had been working on a bunkie for a segment of designer Sarah Richardson’s show on HGTV when he realized that a small, functional backyard space would allow cottage owners to accommodate more guests without having to take on a costly renovation.

“Jorge and I wanted the place to be small, personal, multi-functional and still feel like real architecture,” says Nathan, adding that he and Jorge “have been designing together since our first week at Sheridan.” The former classmates graduated in 2007.

The positive response to The Bunkie has been overwhelming and heartening, Nathan says. “I’ve felt like I’ve had good ideas throughout my life, but was often told they were stupid. The exposure we’ve received has led to offers for more good work which is probably the highest compliment someone could pay us.” 
The Bunkie-The Globe and Mail

Nathan BuhlerJorge Torres