Photo © Bob Gundu

House in Frogs Hollow

Williamson Chong Architects

Grey Highlands, Ontario, Canada

By Alex Bozikovic

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A Toronto family commissioned a 2,000-square-foot weekend retreat outside of the city on a hilly 100 acres where they bike and hike. Toronto-based Williamson Chong Architects divided the house into two volumesóa poured-in-place raw concrete base buried into the hill and oriented east and a rectangular volume, perched on top, oriented to the west.

Design concept and solution: The concrete base defines a “service bar” of rooms: the entry and stair, kitchen, office, bike garage, storage, and a mechanical room. Adjacent to that, a living room, with cedar-framed windows on three sides, offers panoramic views across the owners’ property. Polished concrete floors contain an efficient radiant-floor heating system.

The plywood-clad second level hovers above the first and contains the bedrooms, bathrooms, and family room. The two floors are connected by a sculpted, curving stair formed of thin, CNC-cut plywood panels. The architects also employed this technology for the siding, which traces an evolving wave-like pattern around the perimeter of the building. A clerestory above the stair dramatizes its flow and introduces natural ventilation.

Williamson Chong Architects
235 Carlaw Ave., Suite 400
Toronto, Ontario M4M 2S1
T: 416.703.9271

March 2012
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