The client acquired a 1.2-hectare woodland near Lake La Salle in order to build an ecological house benefiting from a sloping ground, a panoramic view of the lake and a southern exposure.
The brief included three bedrooms, a large living or dining room, a kitchen, a large bathroom, two smaller shower rooms and a separate garage. The client asked for an expressed engineered timber structure clad in stone, covered with accessible green roofs and certified LEED Silver or Gold.
We proposed to divide the house in two pavilions set differently into the ground, in order to create a diversity of viewpoints and spatial experiences. For example, the north pavilion entrance is level with the south pavilion roof, which blends into the forest floor. The kitchen and dining room share the same floor, but the former is at grade while the latter is above ground. In other words, between the kitchen and the dining room, the forest descends and the views open up.
Two stairs – one interior, one exterior – connect these experiences. The two ground-level terraces and the two green roofs constitute a vertical range of viewpoints — from the low south terrace at the forest floor, to the lofty north roof above the tree tops, with a panoramic view of the lake.
The house is tempered by the constant temperature of the ground in which it is embedded. Furthermore, it is conditioned by a ground-source heat pump, and the conditioned air is delivered through raised floors. It combines south-facing windows, balconies and trees to maximise solar gains in the winter and minimise them in summer.