This countryside home in Canada is modelled by architectural firm Saota as an idyllic summer getaway

AUG 13, 2020 | By Sakshi Rai
Grassy mounds and abundant flora bound the stark black and grey facade of the property; Photographs by Adam Letch
The property's L-shaped structure increases its proximity to the pool; Photographs by Adam Letch
The poolside offers the perfect spot to sunbathe on warm summer days; Photographs by Adam Letch
A custom designed sofa, chairs, coffee and dining table in neutral tones by ARRCC comprise the outdoor furniture. Also seen are Shell pouffes by Paola Lenti, a Parlour to Patio rug by Hertex, and Xanadu dining armchairs by Mobelli; Photographs by Adam Letch
Fade lamps are suspended above a bespoke dining table by ARRCC and Flicker Chairs by Artefacto. The Omega Server on the facing wall is by Okha; Photographs by Adam Letch
A modular kitchen by Kraemer Woodcraft uses Corian snow white countertops fitted with Hansgrohe Satin Nickle finished faucet, a Wolf oven and Umbra Grey Lacquer finished cabinets; Photographs by Adam Letch
A freestanding bathtub looks out to breathtaking views of the Lake Huron. It is flanked by lacquer finished cabinets and a Hansgrohe Satin Nickle finished faucet; Photographs by Adam Letch
The master bedroom features a custom bed, headboard, ottoman, rug and bedside tables by ARRCC. Matching the luxurious aesthetic are side tables from Weylandts and an Evergreen Dormeuse chaise by Flexform; Photographs by Adam Letch

‌Tucked away in a quaint Canadian city is a home that’s built by a South African team of creatives! Mark Bullivant, Johan Basson and Paulina Paz of Saota, a Cape Town based architectural practice, have created a 17,000 sq ft home that makes the most of its picturesque setting. 

Located just two hours from Toronto is this stone and glass edifice swamped with fir trees that’s designed as a family summer getaway. It is flanked by forested land and the banks of Lake Huron on either side, and occupies the transitional grassy embankment in between—rising 3.5m from the road level and then dropping down to the water.

While the construction differs significantly from other traditional ones seen in the region, the creatives took care to ensure it didn’t disrupt the overall architectural landscape. “Conceptually, we stacked and suspended a series of rectangular boxes such that they lie embedded in the ground as well as suspended overhead,” explains Bullivant.

A sleek stone door marks the entrance to this abode; Photographs by Adam Letch

The homeowners had a clear and precise vision of ample outdoor spaces to enjoy summer afternoons by the waterfront. And this was achieved with the help of an uncomplicated and well structured layout, by visually connecting levels and creating a series of fluid, semi outdoor spaces.

Inside the triple volume, visitors aren’t immediately presented with views of the lake. Instead, the entrance is deliberately contained to add an element of suspense and exclusivity. From the threshold, a dramatic, three-storeyed atrium floods the house with natural light. It takes ascending a flight of stairs to enjoy vistas of the breathtaking waters.

Dark, towering walls on either side of the staircase add an element of mystery; Photographs by Adam Letch

The creatives ensured the home had a varied and articulated spatial experience. While the vast central volume sets the ground for a wholesome and interactive setting, more intimate areas like the kitchen and living areas provide desired privacy and isolation.

A contemporary architectural space defined the design direction and led to a modern, minimalistic style by ARRCC, the practice’s interiors division. Bespoke furniture pieces by Okha in neutral tones were selected to complement the interiors and create both a sense of style and comfort.

Everest by Elan Lighting illuminates the Mod sofa, London dining table by OKHA and Como dining chairs by Modloft; Photographs by Adam Letch

Borrowing from the site, the colour palette includes light sandy hues from the nearby beach and darker panels that reference tree barks. The occasional use of bronze and metallics adds to the contemporary feel of the home as do the textures of gorgeous timbers, marbles and leathers.

Indeed, the creatives have clearly demarcated the property for its uses. The upper level is devoted entirely for private spaces—a master bedroom, office and gym, while an independent, refurbished cabin acts as a guest suite. Outside, a covered entertainment area alongside a swimming pool in the front and gardens in the rear are some of the spaces to unwind at. 

The home also boasts a sustainable and energy efficient built. It is not just solar powered. In fact, an underground sewer system equipped to handle powerful storms are in place, while sturdy Neolith ceramic panels for the facade help tackle local climate.