|Scott Posno Design
|500m2 (5382 sq.ft.)
Located an hour east of Toronto, The Farm occupies a 65-acre site amidst the peaceful green fields of this Southwestern Ontario agricultural region, adjacent to a large conservation forest. It serves as a weekend and vacation home for the client, his grown children, along with friends and family wanting to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Comprised of several buildings and structures spread over the property, The Farm aims to engage the history and physical attributes of the site while amplifying a relationship with the outdoors. The main house sits atop a shallow ridge and follows a north-south orientation, with the primary longitudinal elevation facing east to capture morning light and a compelling view of the property’s rolling hills, dense thicket of trees, and the lush Ganaraska Forest beyond. An existing pond concentrates activity downslope; continuing on, a winding stream that bisects the property is a calming presence, shaded by the surrounding trees.
The main house is accessed via a driveway that connects to a dead-end gravel road. Its steeply gabled form and exaggerated length suggest a modern interpretation of the vernacular longhouse typology. Extending 153 feet from garage to master suite, the house is clad in cedar siding stained a soft charcoal to complement the colours found in the natural landscape. A standing-seam metal roof is perfectly matched in colour, with deep overhangs at either end.
Here, the longhouse form translates into an even distribution of program from public to private functions in a sequential fashion. Additional privacy is maintained through the separation of sleeping quarters: the luxurious double-height master suite enjoys a privileged position with southern orientation and a secluded patio, while the other two bedrooms are located on the second floor of the house. Further, a separate loft space above the garage functions as both an artist’s studio and self-contained guest suite.
An area of particular note within the home is the dining room, which is lined with operable glass walls. When the sliding glass pocket doors on either side are closed, the room is a warm, intimate space for gathering; when the doors are slid open, it becomes a breezeway.
A restrained material palette defers to the power of the dramatic site conditions, allowing the simplicity of form and the subtleties of light and shadow to inflect the project. Polished concrete floors in the public areas are balanced by an abundance of white oak used for millwork throughout, and for the stairs and flooring on the second level. The introduction of Douglas fir in the form of an expressed structural ceiling system is a reminder of the inherently rustic origins of the project.
Immediately adjacent to the garage is a Zen Garden that manifests as a perfectly square, semi-enclosed structure to encourage group or solitary activities such as yoga, meditation, and reading. The walls are defined by 2” x 4” ipe slats, and overhead, aluminum strips form an open trellis.
South of the main house, a secondary zone focuses activity on an outdoor pool, hot tub and a sunken fire pit, along with a gabled pool house. A separate, enticingly compact cabana mirrors the form and materiality of the main house—a perfectly proportioned additional one-bedroom guest suite should the need arise.