Designed by Ravi Handa Architect in collaboration with AAmp Studio, Ell House is a vacation home on Lake Ontario, Canada that is characterized by its L-shape, a configuration that has several advantages. This shape, reminiscent of the extensions built on farmhouses over generations, creates two volumes: one houses the private rooms and the other contains the public areas. The unique shape of the house not only offers protection from the prevailing winds in the region, but also ensures that each opening offers a picture frame-like representation of the beautiful surroundings.
The two volumes are connected by a glass vestibule that serves as an entry point into the house. From there, visitors can take a moment to explore the waterfront before turning left or right. The more private volume on the right includes four bedrooms and two bathrooms, while the other volume on the left houses the kitchen, dining room and living room. Each room flows into one another to create an intuitive understanding of the house even for first-time visitors. Both volumes are clad in a charred cedar tree, which gives the house its monochrome aesthetic and contrasts the natural surroundings.
Inside, the house is light and airy with a warm palette of materials. The gable roof, which is reminiscent of the barns in the region, increases the height and emphasizes the openness of the interior of the house.
Every window was made with purpose. The kitchen windows allow you to anticipate the arrival of guests, the large sliding doors to the courtyard encourage interior and exterior living style, and the windows in front of each bedroom door bathe the interiors with afternoon light and encourage natural ventilation. The special little square window in the living room is a nod to the owner’s youngest son.
The framed windows create the illusion of moving art. The Ell House is a stable shelter that offers peaceful relief to its residents.
Photos by Maxime Brouillet.