Designed as a retreat for a couple with grown children, the House at Springhill is located on 16 scenic acres on the Niagara Escarpment. It replaces an old family cottage with a fresh interpretation of the Ontario farmhouse, its steeply pitched roofline evoking long established and traditional notions of home.
Siting and orientation of the house on a hillside capitalizes on the breathtaking valley vista to the east. Two primary forms are linked by a glazed corridor, creating two courtyards. On the west, the curved driveway leads into the carport and courtyard at the main entry. And on the east, a generous courtyard terrace engages with the majestic landscape and seasonal dynamic – where the optimism of spring morphs into the lushness of summer, followed by an autumnal explosion of colour, and finally, the quiet hush of winter.
Reflecting the region, the history of the site and the memory of the previous building, local and recycled materials are utilized. A surrounding plinth of Ontario limestone grounds the building, while above, cladding is comprised of cedar siding and shakes. On the interior, reclaimed cedar from the old cottage was milled and used to clad the walls of the master bedroom and den.
To reinforce a sense of privacy and retreat, the master suite is separated from the main house, where the kitchen, living and dining areas are located, along with two bedrooms and a bath on the second floor. A capacious open kitchen is a central focus in the main space, and is made even more so with a large feature skylight that channels additional daylight into the heart of the house while establishing a connection to the sky and clouds above.
Sustainability is prioritized as it is with all of superkül’s projects. The design of the house incorporates a sustainability strategy that includes high-performance double glazing optimized for passive solar heating, and drain-water heat recovery. Consequently, we have achieved 39% less energy consumption and 6.3 tonnes/year less than Code Minimum construction, resulting in maximum efficiency, endurance and utmost occupant comfort.
Location: Mulmur, ON
Size: 3,500 sf
photo: Ben Rahn / A-Frame Studio