The River Front House is located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and occupies a long narrow lot that glides down to the Ottawa River’s shore. A public access lane, however, compromises the home’s privacy along its western flank. In response, we created a 200 ft. long masonry wall and attached two separate pavilions in behind, one the primary residence, the other a garage topped with a gable ended loft.
This garrison wall encloses and protects a metaphorical “city.” Exaggerated roof gables seem almost to float above the firmly rooted base volumes of the two pavilions. The house and the garage are linked by a glazed passage that belies the muscular opaqueness of the outer wall. The natural stone-like gray of the pervasive concrete block is offset by a single, prominent raised mahogany plywood clad volume.
Immediately on entry, an extended threshold passage telescopes attention toward the lake and distant escarpment. A light-filled, double-height vestibule acts as a grand horizontal and vertical circulation spine and separates the entry passage from the carefully composed flowing open spaces of the living, kitchen and dining areas confronting the lake. Concrete block and white walls as well as naturally stained wood windows are used to frame both internal and external views.