ESCARPMENT HOUSE II
ARCHITECT: : LINEVISION Architects
DESIGN LEADERSHIP: Michael Poitras, Principal-in-Charge of Design
- No. of storeys: 2
- Ground floor area: 2,585 ft2 (240 m2)
- Basement floor area (finished): 3,980 ft2 (370 m2)
- Total floor area: 6,565 ft2 (610 m2)
- Armour stone boulder retaining walls
- Black zinc walls & roofs
- Wood windows & doors
- DensDeck soffits (painted white)
- Composite wood decks
- Glass guard rails
- Black slate floors
- Open concept living/dining/kitchen (pavilion no. 1)
- Landscaped terraces
- Master bedroom/ensuite (pavilion no. 2)
- 2 fireplaces
- Landscaped terrace
- Detached 2-car garage/studio
- Family room/media room
- 3 bedrooms/ensuites
- Exercise room
- Change room/sauna
- 1 fireplace
- Outdoor pool/deck
- Fire pit (in landscape beyond)
This 20+ acre site sits high atop the Niagara Escarpment, boasting breathtaking vistas south, east and west on a continuously sloped hill running east. Designed for an active young family, this modern residence, while large, is intended to blend quietly into the landscape.
Upon arriving at this quiet country property, cars are guided into the site by a long, stone wall to a vehicular court, with a two-car garage and ample outdoor parking space for guests. From here, one walks down huge staggered stone steps to the house, giving visitors the feeling they have left the “urban world” far behind.
Conceptually, the house is split into two distinct zones. At grade, an open concept living/dining/kitchen pavilion (pavilion no. 1) sits adjacent to, but separated from, a master bedroom/ensuite pavilion (pavilion no. 2). Aesthetically, these two pavilions are light, open, glassy, rooms that provide clear views of the rolling landscape beyond. Below grade and sunken into the earth is the family room, library, exercise room, sauna, change rooms and three children’s bedrooms. These lower level rooms are meant to exude a warm, slightly dark cave-like atmosphere, with limited openings, very different from the open, glassy pavilions above.
When looking at the house from the outdoor pool, it appears as if the glassy pavilions are the only visible buildings, whereas at the base of the house, a heavily planted stepped armour stone boulder wall, presents itself more like a natural stone landscape, similar to the stone outcroppings typically found along the Niagara Escarpment.
Capping the glass pavilions are black zinc butterfly roofs, inspired by the feeling of “flight” one senses while observing the many hawks that often soar high overhead.