Kaprielian Verhiel Architects Inc. Built on the foundations of an existing house this project grappled with the design challenge of creating a home filled with light and open to the forested landscape around it, while also serving as the container for an extensive art collection. This was achieved with the use of strategically placed windows and a central glass tower element.
This house is sensitive to the residential context in its use of natural materials such as Owen Sound ledge rock and Ontario cedar. Its scale and massing reflect the adjacent homes in size and layout. With the use of terraces, planter boxes and garden trellis the home is seamlessly integrated into the topography.
A sustainable environment was achieved through the use of indigenous planting. Much of the existing house was kept to reduce the amount of waste.
Building massing not only collects light and focuses views but also works with the natural topography integrating the architecture with the ravine and forest.
The use of fossil fuels is reduced by the use of a high efficiency natural gas furnace. Operable windows, strategically located fans, ducts and vents in combination with sloped ceilings encourage natural convection air flow.
An intelligent exterior wall assembly utilizing rain screen principals, and poly-urethane spray insulation keeping the building naturally warn in the winter and cool in the summer and reduces the demand on the mechanical systems while sunshades and double insulated window systems decrease the amount of heat gain from sunlight.
To promote a healthy living environment building materials were selected that have low VOC emissions and that are mould resistant.
The design fulfills the goals of creating a living space filled with light and natural ravine while providing a backdrop for domestic living and a frame for art. It sets a new standard of design providing a wilderness retreat in the city.
The design utilizes innovative mechanical systems, smart wall assemblies and is planned to take advantage of cross ventilation and natural heating and cooling solutions. This house uses sloped roofs which direct water flow to garden beds instead of the storm water system, thus minimizing the impact on the ravine.