Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A modern house

When I was a kid, this was my idea of a house:

I knew that some people built houses that looked like this:but I just didn't get it. Why would you want a flat roof that made your house look like a box when you could have a peaked roof that made you house look like a house?

Well, many years later, while some tastes have stayed the same (milk chocolate over dark, French fries over mash) my preference in houses has slowly moved from traditional to modern.

I still appreciate a well designed, well built traditional home but it's the look and the feel found in modern styles that really pique my interest these days. As defined by Wikipedia: "Modern architecture is characterized by simplification of form and creation of ornament from the structure and theme of the building." Or, in other words, you won't likely see gargoyles ornamenting the roof of a modern house unless the gargoyles are helping to hold up the roof. Every part that goes into the build of a modern house has a purpose - in theory anyway. In practice, well, there's no point in being obsessive-compulsive about it.

Here are some renders of the house to be (click on image to enlarge):

Here are the floor plans:

1st Floor

2nd Floor

It's a two story building with a half basement (other half being the garage) and a walkout to the roof. The total livable space is about 1700 square feet.

The front of the house, which is south-facing, has large window areas to take advantage of solar gain in the winter. Some sort of shading device (possibly incorporating photovoltaic solar panels) will be added to block out the sun in the summer.

Some variances will be required from the city but those will be addressed in a later post.

In laying out the interior, the idea is to create an open public area on the first floor with a more traditional three bedroom layout on the 2nd floor. The neighbourhood the house is situated in is more geared towards families so the third bedroom, as opposed to, say, an interior balcony overlooking the first floor or a spa sized bathroom, is thought to be a more suitable choice.


  1. Adi

    I came across the reference to this blog on greenbuildingtalk and would like to ask you some questions about the flat roof. I'm building in Ottawa, just had the house removed form the city lot we ahd purchased in September and want to have a walk out roof on the new house!How can I contact you?

  2. Hi John, you can send your email contact info to fni2 @ rogers.com (remove spaces) and I'll pass it along to Adi if you'd like.

  3. I saw a very similar looking house walking back from classes - on Harbord Street (north side) next to VIP Tailors and Dry Cleaners, between Crawford Street and Montrose Avenue. Amazing, provided the surroundings. Often wondered about the clever design with a strong sense of purpose and rather elegant look. Personally, I would love to live in a place like that.

  4. Thank you Catherine. I'm glad you like it.