Rockland Master Plan

Near Guelph, Ontario

This master plan for a 286-acre residential property in southern Ontario focused on three long-term phased planning options for the environmental stewardship and selective architectural additions to the property: thematically, they are titled Shift, Orchard and Art Barns.  While the three strategies represent fundamentally different ways of thinking about the existing buildings on the site, they all simultaneously consider landscape cultivation, land use, building renovation, construction and programmatic development.

A primary ambition of the master plan is the integration of landscape, architecture and art into a single conceptual design strategy. Each scheme uses architectural and landscape devices – types of vegetation, screens, site walls, mature tree stands, succession planting, cultivated plots, translucent walls and framed views  – drawn from both existing conditions and precedents.

The expansive site’s primary use, at present, is residence and outdoor leisure. Potential future programs for a rural campus embracing old and new structures include: the expansion of the residents’ art collection and exhibition program; an intensified landscape art program; an artists’ residence and studio; an expanded trail network; field pavilions to encourage the use of outlying areas of the site; event spaces and landscape rooms around the existing ruins of farm buildings; seasonal pavilions like warming huts and a maple sugar shack; cultivated fruit orchards; an observatory or astronomic observatory; and a swimming and habitat pond.

This master plan proposes that design of both the landscape and architecture strategies will focus on the integration of sustainable principles and technology in a number of ways, some of which include: passive heating and cooling, greywater systems, green roofs, restoration of aquatic and terrestrial animal habitats, the regeneration of boreal forest, and the utilization of native species of vegetation.

photo: superkül