Woodside House

Sheltered by a ridge of trees and situated in the corner of a large farm overlooking fields of barley, the house is conceived as a L-shaped volume defining an outdoor courtyard garden. Full-height windows look into the courtyard, creating the perception of an outdoor room that extends the interior space, and allows views across both wings of the house for a feeling of openness. Opposing clerestory windows provide privacy to the public face of the building as well as excellent natural ventilation.

In the manner of restrained Swiss architecture, the elevations are a repetition of elements and modular building materials intending to keep construction time and cost low. Buff-coloured brick was selected to compliment the sandy loam earth and surrounding fields.

Careful attention was placed on both the use of sustainable materials and choice of systems to minimize environmental impact: fresh water is from an underground spring, waste water is processed through a septic system, rain water run-off is used for irrigation; passive heating and cooling and natural ventilation is achieved through the position of large operable windows in relation to movements of the sun, and ground source geothermal heat pumps provide radiant heating through the concrete slab. The full-height windows also optimize natural light conditions, minimizing the use of artificial lighting.

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