Dufferin County Home
Beside a meadow in Mono Township stands a new home, built as a retreat for its city owners. We prized the meadow, and so we built a “bank barn” to one side of it, incorporating a low building built into the hillside.
A development plan had previously seen the building located in the middle of the pasture. The land is bewitching – when you stand in the meadow, surrounded by Carolinian forest, you feel centered within a timeless Ontario landscape. We intervened to have the planning agreement relocate the house over to the treeline, leaving the meadow intact. We wanted the house to act as a gateway to the landscape, and not its centerpiece.
Arriving at the house, you approach a breezeway and, entering it, you see the meadow framed beyond. The breezeway gives onto a concrete plinth that provides a stunning vista of lush Ontario farmland. Likewise, the principal interior spaces are tuned to the pastoral views of the site with a series of projecting bays and dormers.
As an exercise in sustainability, the house is built from local, natural materials: wood siding, a standing seam metal roof and salvaged hemlock floors. Its super-insulated envelope is easily heated and cooled with an efficient mechanical system. The basement is recessed into the hillside, with a walkout on that level for access to skiing and hiking. A veranda anchors the quiet end of the main floor, beyond a stone terrace onto which the living room opens.