Did you know that Stouffville is the central urban area of the town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, which is about a 45 minute drive north of Toronto? The topography of this area is shaped by the Oak Ridges Moraine and the Rouge River, which means the landscape is visually rich with rolling hills, lush greenery, and river valleys. Trevor McIvor definitely created this Stouffville Residence to embrace the area's exquisite natural setting.
Trevor McIvor, the principal architect of the Trevor McIvor Architect Inc., has an intimate history with Ontario’s natural geography. Having spent his childhood and adult life cottaging and camping in Ontario’s Algonquin Park, McIvor has a great affinity and admiration for the beauty of the Canadian landscape. This connection plays an integral role in the way he places his projects in their settings, and how his designs carefully consider all the environmental elements which shape and influence the user experience.
The Stouffville Residence is perched on a hill and cantilevered over an expansive landscape. The dwelling - a composition of wood and glass pavilions - grounded by natural stone walls, is oriented towards the sweeping vistas of the area.
The north exposure - which serves as the point of arrival and car park - consists of a stone wall punctured by a series of glass boxes which frame the entry. An enormous cantilevered portico provides shelter from inclement weather, while the rhythm of the facade and abundant natural stone is a subtle cue this is a domestic fortress. It's a dramatic contrast to the south side of the residence, where the composition of wood and glass volumes embrace the expansive panorama.
The interior is both cohesive and dynamic. A central pavilion anchors the entertainment spaces, while the private zones for sleeping radiate to the sides of the house.
My favourite features of this masterpiece include the palette of natural materials, including locally sourced granite and Canadian cedar, and McIvor’s environmental commitment to incorporating sustainable heating and lighting features. And I love the outdoor terrace that extends elevated into its surrounding environment.
I applaud McIvor’s thoughtful design which keeps its natural setting the focal point.
To learn more about their residential and corporate portfolio, visit Trevor McIvor Inc.
Researched and written by Guhar Ullah, Specializing in Architecture at the University of Toronto's John H Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design.