Grey Highlands, Ontario, Canada
A Toronto family commissioned a 2,000-square-foot weekend retreat outside of the city on a hilly 100 acres where they bike and hike. Toronto-based Williamson Chong Architects divided the house into two volumes'a poured-in-place raw concrete base buried into the hill and oriented east and a rectangular volume, perched on top, oriented to the west.
Design concept and solution: The concrete base defines a “service bar” of rooms: the entry and stair, kitchen, office, bike garage, storage, and a mechanical room. Adjacent to that, a living room, with cedar-framed windows on three sides, offers panoramic views across the owners’ property. Polished concrete floors contain an efficient radiant-floor heating system.
The plywood-clad second level hovers above the first and contains the bedrooms, bathrooms, and family room. The two floors are connected by a sculpted, curving stair formed of thin, CNC-cut plywood panels. The architects also employed this technology for the siding, which traces an evolving wave-like pattern around the perimeter of the building. A clerestory above the stair dramatizes its flow and introduces natural ventilation.
Owner: Withheld at Owner's Request
Location: Grey Highlands, Ontario, Canada
Gross square footage:
Total construction cost:
Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Engineer(s): Blackwell Bowick Partnership Ltd.
General contractor: Wilson Project Management
Photographer(s): Bob Gundu
Floor and Roof Systems: 2x10 wood joists and 9-1/2" TJI 110s.
The lower volume is western red cedar siding installed vertically.
Custom Felt Headboard in master bedroom: Kathryn Walter, Felt Studio
Stair: The stair balustrade and treads are solid birch. The curved interior stair, designed and fabricated by the architect, is made of custom CNC milled birch plywood profiles.
Paints and stains: Walls and ceilings. Benjamin Moore CC-40.
Plastic laminate: Kitchen counter: Nevamar Black Pearl and Wilsonart Laminate Frosty White
Floor and wall tile: Bathroom wall tile is Olympia New Windsor Matte, Salt & Pepper
Window Shades: Solarfective Teleshades, Pearl 1% fabric.
Upholstery: Window bench is covered in Maharam Venn in Paprika
Fireplace: Heatilator Accelerator Wood Burning Fireplace
Downlights: Eurolite Strategy adjustable recessed downlight