The client selected this forested site at the bend of a riverfront road in the Baskin Beach area west of Ottawa. Mature trees, a steeply sloping site to the rear and spectacular views of the Ottawa River and Gatineau Hills beyond offer opportunities to create a sense of privacy for this family home and to nestle the home within the landscape. The overall massing is broken down and the emphasis is on the horizontal, to minimize the footprint and removal of trees, and to keep the structure in harmony with its natural environment. A loft with large balcony at the third level captures the long distance views.
The forest is echoed with the pre-finished wood cladding of the upper and extended portions of the home and the extensive interior hardwood floors. The rocky shores of the site are echoed by the principle exterior cladding: limestone cut and split in short long units to emphasize the horizontal. The interiors feature extensive stone tile and slab detailing, reflecting the owners’ family tile and stone business. The design reflects a blend of old-world craft and modern use and sensibilities for a natural site.
Responding to family living, the home opens up with a large angled stairwell featured in the heart of the home, with open risers and railings, topped with a large skylight. The stairs’ second level “landing loft” opens onto the large two-storey family room with featured double-height stone fireplace chimney and views to the forest, and connects the different bedrooms at that floor. The kitchen, dining, living and den are all in proximity to this central area, with various types and levels of spatial separation. Options for togetherness and reflective privacy abound.