The “Zen Barn” is built in a historic and eclectic Ottawa neighbourhood. The linear composition of this contemporary home is interrupted by the vertical volumes of light wells, the stairs, and the courtyard. The resulting interpenetration of views, light, and space along the south side of the home creates strong indoor-outdoor connections. The building’s orientation allows passive solar exposure at the east, west and south sides during winter months.

Project Name: Zen Barn
Studio Name:
Christopher Simmonds Architect Inc
Project size: 2300 ft2
Site size: 3200 ft2
Project Budget: $1100000
Completion date: 2012
Building levels: 3
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Photography: Peter Fritz

Zen Barn by Christopher Simmonds Architect Inc - Sheet1
Living Room+Kitchen ©Peter Fritz

A recessed courtyard to the south allows for a large amount of glazing on the main floor. The cantilevered second storey acts as a shade, protecting the lower level from the hot summer sun.

Zen Barn by Christopher Simmonds Architect Inc - Sheet2
Bedroom ©Peter Fritz

White lacquer and stained ash cabinetry flow through the interconnected kitchen, living, and dining spaces. The exterior is clad with reclaimed white oak barn boards. All of these features and design strategies result in a home that is energy efficient and pleasant to live in.

Zen Barn by Christopher Simmonds Architect Inc - Sheet3
Exterior View ©Peter Fritz

The home achieved an EnerGuide rating achieved of 82, 10 points higher than what is required by the Ontario Building Code. This home achieved LEED for Homes Platinum certification.

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