A courtyard weaving together two simple volumes allows an elegant simplicity to permeate throughout this light filled modern infill home. Natural light becomes material as spaces open up onto the courtyard, intermingling views to each other, and allowing the changing light to animate and warm the walls of the interiors.
Project Name: St.Francis
Studio Name: Shean Architects
Project size: 1500 ft2
Site size: 2000 ft2
Completion date: 2010
Building levels: 2
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Photography: Peter Fritz
The courtyard acts as a front porch to the rear volume, the most public, with the kitchen, dining and sitting area, while the more private front den still connects simultaneously with the street and court through windows in the east and west walls.
The numerous openings serve to break down the volumes, and at the same time expand the interior spaces, calling on the exteriors to warm the minimal palette. The stairwell is at the same time a lightwell with generous openings facing south to the courtyard, and sunlight running through the open stairs and glass guards connects the ground and second floors.
The sublime palette of exterior materials, a white oiled cedar, cement board and galvalume, elegantly evoke the richness of the materials in the modern house without overpowering the adjacent, more traditional homes. These simple gestures allow a discreet but warm interaction between people, their home, and their neighbours.