The Dutch architectural office of Chris Collaris has designed a villa in Mount Brydges, overlooking the green fields and woods in the rural area of Southwestern Ontario, Canada. Collaris conceived House H for residents that run a plant nursery on the extensive plot of land and wanted to add a home that could be used by three generations of a growing family.
The functional program had the most important influence on the architectural design. All the living spaces have been organized on one floor. The spread of this program lead to a central atrium which connects all spaces and brings in light from the most inner part of the building structure.
Natural daylight comes from above and most of the long sightlines in the villa go through the atrium. Every single space on the floor plan has a different connection and orientation to the outside. With green bean fields and woods the view is different in every room.
The villa is specifically designed on the climate in Southwest Ontario. Summers can be very hot and winters are always cold with lots of snow. The villa has been designed with a big canopy stretching longer and shorter in different directions. The canopy is keeping the intense sunlight and warmth out of the house in summer, but allowing it in again in winter.
The majority of the materials used in the villa are coming from local production areas. The natural stone of the floors (inside and outside) and the facades are coming from a quarry in Ontario. The Douglas fir cladding of the canopy is coming from a local forest and some furniture pieces (the coat rack and dining table) are even made with wood of old trees from the plot.
The big green roof has been produced on the fields of the green nursery next to the plot. Making as much as possible with sources and materials from a local area was important to the client, echoing the joy of the social nearness of the bigger family with all children and grandchildren. In this way, the villa found its destiny as a future proof sustainable inheritance of the whole family, made with things which were pleasantly close.