23.6.2017

Cobourg House

Built for a retired couple who were relocating from the family farm in Grafton to the nearby town of Cobourg, Canada, the site is by the shore of Lake Ontario, adjacent to Cobourg’s Victoria Park.

The house, while accommodating local zoning regulations, is set deep into the site. A discreet presence in this conservation area, it is screened by large mature trees.

The design references the barn at the family farm: two long pitched barn-like forms are slightly offset to create a front terrace overlooking Lake Ontario and Park with a private rear terrace connected to the enclosed garden. The size and proportion of the rooms, referencing the old farmhouse, allows the old family furniture to be at home in the new spaces. The ground floor is for everyday use – in the summer it opens out onto the terraces. The upper floor, with a walnut-lined ceiling following the roof pitches, creates an attic-like space which comes to life when the children and many grandchildren are visiting.

On the first floor a painting studio sits with views overlooking the lake. The basement was made large enough to accommodate rehearsals for the local repertory company, run by one of the owners.

This is a contemporary design that fits well within the heritage neighbourhood of the Canadian Lakeside town. The materials used include: Petersen Tegl brick, and zinc roofing, internally all floors are walnut, as is the ceiling finish, handrails are gunmetal finished, the fire surrounds are single pieces of Carrara marble and the kitchen counters are soapstone.

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