Designed by Ravi Handa Architect in collaboration with AAmp Studio, the Ell House is a vacation home located on Lake Ontario, Canada, that is defined by its L shape, a configuration that provides several benefits. This shape, reminiscent of the extensions built on farmhouses over generations, creates two volumes: one houses the private quarters and the other contains the common areas. Aside from also providing shelter from the area’s prevailing winds, the home’s unique shape also ensures that each opening has a picture frame-like display of the beautiful surroundings.
The two volumes are connected by a glass vestibule that serves as the entry point into the home. From there, visitors can take a moment to appreciate the waterfront before heading left or right. The more private volume on the right includes four bedrooms and two baths, while the other volume on the left houses the kitchen, dining room and living room. Each space flows into one another to create an intuitive understanding of the home, even for first time visitors. Both volumes are clad in a charred cedar that gives the home its monochrome aesthetic and adds contrast to the natural surroundings.
Inside, the home is bright and airy with a warm material palette. The gable roof, reminiscent of the region’s barns, adds height and accentuates the openness of the home’s interiors.
Each window was created with intention. The kitchen windows let you anticipate guest arrivals, the large sliding doors opening to the courtyard promote an indoor/outdoor living style, and the windows in front of each bedroom door bathe the interiors with afternoon light while promoting natural ventilation. The special small square window in the living room is a nod to the owner’s youngest son.
The framed windows create the illusion of moving art. With the bustling outdoors just inches away, the Ell House is a sturdy shelter that provides a peaceful relief for its inhabitants.
Photos by Maxime Brouillet.