Architect Ian MacDonald and his team of designers created this spectacular 4300 sq. feet weekend family home located on a 90-acre property of rolling meadow with an historic farmhouse and barn in Caledon, Ontario. The architects have very intelligently planned the house in order to avoid an unpleasant view of the road and neighboring houses. The structure is built into a hill, which not only cuts off the road view, but also exposes a meadow rolling up like a carpet towards the house. The ‘House into a hill’ concept also provides the necessary insulation against the hot summers and harsh winters of Canada.

Besides using locally sourced, durable materials and by heating and cooling the structure with a water-based geothermal system, rain water harvesting techniques have been adopted while building the house. The rainwater collected from the sloping roofs is allowed to flow alongside the house into the meadow and a series of artificially created ponds to the barn. The watercourse not only connects the house with it’s natural surroundings, but also creates a new ecosystem which has helped in breeding species of flora and fauna.

Light monitors have been installed on the roof to provide light into the inside of the house which otherwise appears to be dark even in the daytime. These light monitors are not only a source of light, but also provide the necessary ventilation and exhaust. The house has been created with several intermediary spaces (for example, the space where the watercourse flows between the house and the outer retaining wall), which not only provide intimacy and protection, but also address the inhabitants’ physical and psychological needs with the changing climatic conditions making the ‘Meadow House‘ a cozy weekend escape throughout the year.

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Photo Credits – Tom Arban

+ Ian MacDonald Architect

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