Early conversations with our clients revealed their enduring connection to the prairie landscape, having grown up surrounded by farming in Saskatchewan. The concept of rootedness, along with the family’s abiding respect for farm life and close knit family ties became guiding principles as we moved through the design process.
Interconnected volumes and varying degrees of visual access throughout the home create opportunities for meaningful interaction among family members. Oriented along strong perpendicular axes, the spatial configuration of this split-level layers public zones and private retreats, balancing each individual’s desire for connection with their need for privacy. The communal living area’s generous kitchen is truly the heart of this home, lending itself as much to meal preparation and homework projects as casual entertaining. Recognition of the importance of the sky in prairie life led to the decision to carve into the ceiling plane in the kitchen, living room and loft, installing carefully oriented skylights to enhance the connection between indoor and outdoor space, flooding each volume with crisp light. Family history and agricultural life are woven throughout. Heavy timber that graces the fireplace mantle and reclaimed Chicago brick, found both on the interior and exterior is a nod to the client’s parents’ farm. Carefully selected character elements including a cheerful encaustic tile, traditional range hood with copper detailing, barn doors hung on exposed track, and industrial light fixtures, are familiar and warm, referencing prairie vernacular and rooting the home in its owner’s history.
Photo credit: Jamie Hyatt Photography