Canadian architecture practice StudioAC has mimiced a traditional farmhouse typology with a modern, corrugated-metal home on the Bruce Peninsula, a few hours north of Toronto, Canada.
Named Devils Glen, the elongated-form modern house takes cues from farm buildings in the area, and is wrapped in a corrugated metal cladding to provide a singular, unified appearance.
StudioAC began the design process with the idea of a picnic where a discussion focused on the natural elements of the site rather than the building. “That conversation inspired the ethic of the project to come,” according to the studio.
The program of the home consists of primary bedroom, primary ensuite, two bedrooms, covered entry, covered pation, kitchen and dining area, foyer, bathroom, laundry and sun deck.
“The design began with two fixations, one having the house sited true to an NSEW to take advantage of the solar path throughout the day, the view to the water, and to avoid disturbing as much of the natural habitat as possible,” said StudioAC.
“The second fixation was to have the roofscape act as a device to shape light, levels of intimacy, and vantage points to the treetops, water, and sky beyond.”
The studio organized the house in two linear volumes, one is dedicated to private spaces and the other is opened up open living space.
A modesty to the plan uses a simple grid of 12’ x 16’ (3,65 meter by 4,87 meter) for living spaces and 12’ x 12’ (3,65 meter by 3,65 meter) for sleeping to enable unobstructed life to exist within.
The studio slightly shifts the two volumes to create a covered terrace facing the water and a covered porch at the entry, while simultaneously increasing privacy for both the primary bedroom and the secondary bathroom facilities.
“This shift in the bars, and the siting of the house, also conceals the view of the water upon arrival to the site,” added the studio.
“Once you enter the house, the landscape and water are revealed via vignette style windows facing the forest, as well as an expansive glass wall facing the lake.”
A simple roof covers the layout, while structurally and formally responding to the extensive snowfalls that can happen in the area.
The architects adopted modesty in the roof’s formal and structural concept and used framed and clad trusses to increase lateral stability, but these have a dual purpose, as the firm explained.
The exterior face of the roof is consistent, and freedom was observed with what could be done with the partition between the two bars above the height of the primary walls.
Within each bay, this partition is allowed to sway from left to right, sometimes producing an intimate gable, a grand shed, or a funnel of light. This tactic is played further in the form of a sky-gazing platform that brings you up into this roofscape to view the treetops, clouds, and stars.
Inspired by the surrounding farm buildings, the studio paid attention to the material choice and used a singular metal.
The house is clad in “a robust galvanized spec” and remained free from finish colours. According to the studio, this also “increases the robustness and reflects the hues of the landscape and sky throughout the day.”
Inside, the team implemented a simple application of white painted drywall and plywood on the roofscape diagrams the architectural device, while producing an unfretted backdrop for art, views, and sunlight.
Founded in 2015, StudioAC is an interdisciplinary architectural practice based in Toronto led by Andrew Hill and Jennifer Kudlats.
Project name: Devils Glen
StudioAC Team: Jonathan Miura, Jennifer Kudlats, Andrew Hill
Structural engineering: Honeycomb
Construction management: HCR Building INC.
All images © Felix Michaud.
All drawings © StudioAC.
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