Inspired by the rural vernacular of Prince Edward County in Ontario, Canada, Ell House by Ravi Handa Handa Architect and AAmp Studio features simple lines with a gable roof reminiscent of the region’s barns and an L-shape plan that references the extensions built onto farmhouses over generations.
With two main volumes, the private areas of the house are strictly separated from communal spaces. Each of the wings has its own purpose – the sleeping area with its four bedrooms and two baths, and a common area with an open plan kitchen, dining, and living room.
The clean vernacular form of the building is also a technical response to the area’s prevailing south-westerly winds. One wing serves to shield the other, thus providing a peaceful indoor and outdoor living area.
The house is entered via a glass vestibule that connects the two volumes. Spacious and generous in both natural light and views, the vestibule provides a sense of relaxation and arrival.
Natural surroundings are showcased by the windows and doors with special attention given to the location of each opening. In the common area, large sliding doors frame the courtyard and water beyond. The kitchen window allows one to see guests when they arrive while a small square window in the living room is a nod to the owner’s youngest son, as well as a way to invite all generations to gather in the same space. In the bedroom hallway, windows are aligned in front of each door to promote natural ventilation and provide additional natural light.
Natural materials such as white-washed pine ceiling, light oak millwork, and white cabinetry are used in the interiors of both wings. The exterior is a dark charred cedar cladding (charred by hand in the Japanese tradition of Shou Sugi Ban) and creates a stark contrast between house and landscape.