Name:Glebe Residence

Location: Ottawa, Canada

Project Area: 3,700 sqft

Project Year: 2013

Client: Wilson Family

Project Status:  2013

Photo Credits: Doublespace Photography 

The 1,500sf addition and full interior renovation to a 1890’s 2,200sf single family residence is located in the southern portion of Ottawa known as the Glebe, bounded by the Rideau Canal and just 2 blocks from Lansdowne Park. The two story existing rectilinear brick massing was retained providing a direct reference to its past, while a new third story and three story rear addition clad in contrasting black metal panels cantilever and pivot around an existing historic sugar maple tree located on the site. The conflict between the required additional program and the limitations imposed by the existing tree and site setbacks create a massing that uses the tree as a central pivot for the shifting geometry, creating a series of diagonally cantilevered masses.

The lack of sectional continuity of the traditional Victorian typology is challenged by penetrating the volume with a series of interconnected voids, creating light shafts and visual relationships between rooms typically separated. The three story voids, while allowing interaction and views between all three floors, also create a natural chimney effect for passive ventilation which terminates with a series of solar powered operable skylights. A large void is carved out from the exterior envelope on the third floor creating an introverted private roof garden located off the master suite. 

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