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At home with the landscape

Architect John Dwyer created a modern masterpiece that sits on the sloped lot and provides an outlook over the forested area, yet this home is woven into the site with a mix of modern and traditional elements.

 

 johndwyerarchitect.com

Discovering a piece of land covered with red and white oaks, the homeowners wanted to build a home that would become one with the surrounding terrain and be designed to fit into the wooded area without destroying any mature oak trees.

Architect John Dwyer created a modern masterpiece that sits on the sloped lot and provides an outlook over the forested area, yet is woven into the site with a mix of modern and traditional elements.

The architect's plan was for a cross-shaped floor plan that would meld with the slopes and have four wings radiating out from a centrally-positioned fireplace that would heat the entire home in the evenings. During the daytime, windows around the entire structure flood the rooms with natural sunlight, providing natural heating. An overhanging deck area is supported by steel beams and allows for viewing the changing seasonal colours and beautiful sunsets and creating the sense of being high up in a treehouse.

 

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The interior spaces marry organic materials such as wood, natural stone and glass. A suspended chimney soars up to the second level and is clad in slate with a heavy steel-lined interior. As the main focal point, the fireplace can be seen from various rooms in the house.

The open plan lower level merges kitchen, dining and living into an area that provides plenty of space for a growing family. The couple’s open kitchen connects to an eating area and the living room, and boasts a generous-sized island to provide enough prep area and space for a family of four to be seated around it. "We made it as big as we could and still have space on either side," said Kyle. The island and streamlined kitchen cabinets are made of vertical-grained rift-sawn oak.

The Pedersons considered concrete for the island top but instead picked Silestone, in a tone that mimics gray concrete. Katie found sleek copper pendant lights by Tom Dixon to illuminate the kitchen table. Sunshine streaming through the kitchen’s walls of glass takes the edge off a cold winter day. "We never suffer from seasonal affective disorder, thanks to the woods and natural light," said Katie.

With its warm wood built-ins and fittings, and oak floors, this home is filled with a warmth and natural aura of comfort, despite the glass-walled spaces. The main staircase with its steel and wood balustrades overlook the fireplace below. The slate-tiled chimney extends all the way to a gas fireplace in the master suite.