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LOCATION: Utopia, Ontario


DESIGN LEADERSHIP: Michael Poitras, Principal-in-Charge of Design

CLIENT: Withheld


  • No. of stories: 1
  • Ground floor area: 1,660 ft2 (154 m2)
  • Basement floor area (finished): 650 ft2 (60 m2)
  • Total floor area: 2,310 ft2 (214 m2)


  • Horizontal tonge & groove cedar siding
  • Split faced concrete block
  • Wood windows & doors
  • Galvalume flashing
  • Douglas fir posts & beams
  • Maple hardwood floors

General Program:

  • Open concept living/dining/kitchen
  • Master bedroom/ensuite
  • 2 bedrooms
  • 1 washroom
  • Office
  • Family room (finished basement)
  • 2 fireplaces

Cost: Withheld

Completion: 1998

2 Trillium Lane

This small, one-storey timber and split-faced concrete block home sits on a 1.6 acre clearing in the forest, just north of Alliston, Ontario. Its design, a sloped roof running the entire length of the house, was derived from the forest itself, the single slope mimicking a “fallen tree”, which results in a dramatic 15’ high ceiling at the living room and a cozy, 8’ high ceiling at the master bedroom/ensuite. In order to take advantage of as much solar gain as possible, the house was located within the clearing’s northern limits – its sunniest spot – the area that receives the most “insolation”.

Delineated as a rectangle divided into two halves, with bedrooms to the west and kitchen/dining/living to the east (the arrival side) complete with a recessed entrance porch set between them, a clear arrangement for living is established. Windowless service rooms are placed on the home’s northern side, acting as a buffer to cold winter weather, while its southern side opens with floor to ceiling glazing and a clear view to the property’s park-like setting, thereby completing a perfect solar diagram. By overhanging the roof a full 7’ beyond the outside face of the southern façade, the steeply angled hot summer sun (71°) is prevented from overheating the house, while allowing the less inclined winter sun (29°) to enter the house and warm its interiors.

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