Working closely with the client, it did not take long to see that the existing bungalow and the York Mills context itself excited us to get right to work. The project attracted the attention of the entire office who competed with different small scale models to best express these ideas.
The winning solution emerged with the following three main elements:
1) A one-storey landscaped carport and entrance pavilion (at grade) recalling the low scale of the existing bungalow
2) An aquarium rotunda overlooking an outdoor lily pond two feet below the entry elevation
3) An interior stone façade that is discovered two feet below the rotunda. This continuous stone surface recalls the Mill Building materials used in the old City of York. The wall forms a distinct boundary for all of the private, cozy spaces connected to the rear garden and spectacular forested creek area.
The first storey spaces connect to an exterior stone esplanade overlooking the grounds. The basement family spaces connect to an outdoor pool and lounge area. Passing through to the two storey wall to the “other side” on the second level brings one into the forest literally.
It was an exercise in architectural elementalism that our office truly enjoyed from the beginning to the end. We could not have asked for more open minded clients, to whom we had the privilege to collaborate. It was a journey of mutual understanding, experimentation and respect.
The result was transcendent, and extreme gratitude is felt for the team effort of client, constructor, and consultants who brought this vision to life.