Overlooking pristine azure water views of Lake Ontario from atop a 75-foot cliff, the Port Hope House is a tectonic expression of luxury modernism based on its physical relationship to the topography of its 75-acre site. The homes’ unique location is the single most important element in the design concept. The specific location of the house was selected to take advantage of the confluence of four key site conditions: the dark peace of a woodlot at the northern end of the property; the openness of a vast fallow field; the unexpected quiet of an abandoned rail cut; and a thunderous lake embankment. One by one, these are carefully woven into the architectural experience of the project, resulting in a delightfully orchestrated presentation of surprising spatial contrasts that balance the two natural extremes of the site, expanses of land and expanses of water.
Indeed, the gradually rising cast-in-place concrete walls are embedded in the earth of the property: at their lowest point subtly framing both views to the woodlot and thermal baths and then growing upward, thrusting the living room, kitchen and master bedroom into a dramatic cantilever above the rail cut to capture unrestrained views of the lake. What begins as a single lifting and curving form splits into two framed volumes, allowing via a subtle separation, clerestory lighting to permeate deep into the living areas. A sloping deck connects the master bedroom with both the pool and field. The sustainable features incorporated in the house make for a minimal ecological footprint and nominal reliance on the grid. The form and orientation of the project maximize beneficial solar exposure and a high-performance envelope is achieved with predominantly solid east-west facades and heat mirror film glazing. The long concrete walls create thermal mass, which works in concert with the ground source heating system to reduce the need for natural gas.
A charcoal zinc cladding flows over the concrete, forming a highly efficient building envelope. As the house rises toward the South, the material palette and massing lighten to privilege openness and light. Internal courtyards and clerestories facilitate natural ventilation and day lighting. Emphasizing the house’s organic connection to the land, water and sewage are treated on site, rainwater is collected for irrigation and the majority of land around the house has been re-naturalized, save for vegetable gardens that seasonally supply the homeowners needs.
|Name||Port Hope House|
|Size||4,450 sq. ft. (413.42 m²)|
|Lot||3,267,000 sq. ft. (303,511.71 m²)|
|Land||75.00 acres (30.35 hectares)|
|Address||4655 Lakeshore Rd, Port Hope, ON L1A 3V7|