Located in a small rural subdivision of fully treed estate lots outside Alliston, this private residence lives up to its name. “Cree-na-quilte” is gaelic for “heart of the forest”. The site is 1.5 acres of forested gently rolling landscape. The owners wanted an environmentally responsible building, which was linked to the landscape so interior and exterior spaces merged and flowed together.

To acheive this, the building was oriented in a “T” configuration with a single storey portion merging with a 2-storey section that maximizes the views on the property. Openings for views were also oriented to take advantage of solar orientation to maximize solar gain in winter, which is minimized in summer through large overhangs and careful positioning of trees. Ventilation is provided through openings, which take advantage of prevailing breezes and work with interior convection currents through a compact central circulation core so that the building is comfortable year round and air conditioning is not required. Mechanical systems include onsite well and septic. The structure of the building is a timber frame hybrid utilizing reclaimed douglas fir timbers, high performance insulated framing and insulated foundaton. The building forms and exposed timber frame structure echo the rural vernacular and provide an environment, which is intimate yet an extention of the surrounding forest.

Photography by: Sean O’Reilly