Westboro, Ottawa
Forever Home The design mandate for this residence, located on a corner site opposite Westboro Beach, was twofold: the home was to remain sufficiently small so as to ensure extensive areas for gardening, and the home had to ensure that it would provide for all physical abilities. As such, the home’s layout and materiality incorporates a cottage sensibility; large operable doors give access to the lower garden and as well as to upper planted terraces with views to the river, all of the site’s mature trees are preserved, enormous stones gleaned during excavation are incorporated as retaining walls and terrace paving, and one stone is even made the new outdoor dining table. Rather than complicating the home’s composition with extraneous massing and materials, the volume of the house is simple and clad with natural wood siding. In keeping with the clients’ desire to enable long-term inhabitation in their new home, the master suite is placed on the main level but all three levels of the home are served by an elevator. The kitchen and bathrooms are all designed for accessibility on standards far more scrupulous than nominal barrier-free guidelines. Last, a private apartment is placed on the lowest level, which provides rental income or should the need arise, a caretaker’s residence.