Guido Costantino Design Office recently has completed the Oakville Residence.
+ Project statement
A 2-storey modern residence on a wooded lot in Oakville, Ontario, 44 Belvedere is comprised of a monochromatic palate of stucco, concrete, brick, anodized siding and a mix of opaque and transparent glass. The street face of Belvedere limits views into the residence, providing privacy through the use of frosted glass and an interior large two and a half storey concrete wall. In contrast, the back exterior unpeels to the outside, providing expansive views onto the bucolic lot and allowing light to flood the space.
Designed for a young family, who wanted a contemporary home where everyday life is not compartmentalized to specific spaces, and where space is flexible, the house plan flows freely, allowing areas to bleed into each other harmoniously. Rather than being defined by walls, the spaces are nuanced through small level and/or material changes, such as a step-down into the living area or a shift from concrete to wood floor. The L-shaped floor plan allows all spaces to receive maximum light, unobstructed views onto the wooded lot and into other areas of the house, while still providing the semi-private functional spaces the family desired.
At the front of the house, large shifted concrete pads welcome you into the residence, transitioning internally into a polished concrete floor, which then slips back out to the exterior to form a long narrow concrete pool and adjacent concrete “lily pads” sitting in rock beds.
Internally, the concrete floor steps down into the living space, where the steps wrap and fold to create a ledge for the hearth, which is anchored to a large 2 1/2 storey unpolished concrete wall. The concrete wall slices vertically through all floors, as well as providing an anchor for the white metal skeletal stair.
Concrete is fundamental to the architecture, acting as a “spine” for main floor circulation, leading you into the house and back out, but also internally acting as a threshold between the kitchen / dining room and the sunken living space. The concrete is the anchor around which the space plan flows, as well as bridging interior and exterior spaces.