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RDR: Single Family Home in Ottawa, Canada

January 21, 2011

Situated on 3.5 acres of beautifully naturally treed landscape property, northeast of the City of Ottawa, this residence is designed for a professional couple with three pre-teen kids.

The site being somewhat near the Ottawa River caused the area’s water table to be high resulting that houses there had to have their basements above the table as well as equipped with emergency sump pumps. My clients, my brother Richard and his wife Danielle and I, planned that the house should be set back from the road allowing privacy but not deep into the site for security reasons. We visited the site and choose the highest level among the beautiful trees, then  specifically plotted which trees should be saved. This gave me the vision on just how the new house would sit in the site.

The living room looks down the created view corridor past these selected trees eastward towards the Ottawa River.  In a parallel direction the ‘boulevard’ entry driveway is angled towards the city of Ottawa. These corridors coincide and incubate the axes of the residence.

As you enter the house the first axis gives the dramatic view eastward through the entry lobby, past the library into the 2 storey living room and cascade onwards to the exterior view corridor. From the library entry the main axis of the residence aligns south west creating the feature of the ground as well as the upper floors. At the ground floor the dining room flanks the  south western arm of the living room and then connects with the kitchen, breakfast and family rooms, while the computer room is just opposite the dining room. The ground floor  axis gives a clear hierarchy to the layout of the rooms and at the same time being functional and efficient.

The upper floor adopts the same axial principle with the master bed room and bath room to the north east while the other bed rooms are to be found towards the south of the axis.  At the south western end of the axis/hall the floor opens above the family room creating a well that allows voice but limited visual communication between the floors. The kids in their upper floor bed rooms can speak easily with the parents at the lower floor. Similarly the master bed room overlooks the 2 storey living room.

The upper floor does not cover the upper level (roof) of the kitchen, breakfast and family rooms. This area is reserved for future expansion of the upper floor.

The construction techniques of RDR is based on North American balloon framing wood construction encased in white cement stucco cladding system. All materials and building elements are standard construction off the shelf systems keeping the financial investments and construction on time and on budget.

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