A home of two halves: inside Setless Architecture's latest Canadian residence
It would be hard to fault the stunning scenery in the outskirts of Toronto, where Fallsview Residence is nestled. Situated among wilderness, in the intersection of Tew's and Webster Falls, this breathtaking family home by Setless Architecture sits on the popular Bruce trail, Canada’s oldest and longest marked footpath.
One of the project's biggest challenges was that the architects had to work with a plot that falls under strict building regulations – one of the strictest in Ontario. The land also included an old, derelict house which was quickly demolished to make room for Fallsview. The site’s dramatic transformation was overseen by the Municipal Hamilton Conservation Authority and the Provincial Niagara Escarpment Commission.
The property's main public rooms were designed to be open and face the nature, taking advantage of the stunning surrounding views. The home is divided into two parts; a more private, bedroom wing and a spacious and open-plan living space and kitchen area.
The adjacent upper den’s set of folding doors mediates between these two distinct areas, featuring a fireplace and a cosy lounge to sit back and enjoy views of the Bruce trail. The master bedroom also makes use of the house’s green vistas, boasting a series of generous full height windows that ‘disappear up above the ceiling’ and bring the outside in.
The clients, a family of five, were after a family-centric home with a private and secluded garden area. As the site's regulations didn't allow to cut any trees or create a lawn, the surrounding woodland and overhanging canopy now act as the home’s naturally formed garden and outdoor recreational area.
Aiming to ‘knit’ the Fallsview residence into the landscape, the architects kept the material palette simple. The exterior features black brick cladding; the ‘natural and indigenous’ material was chosen so that this idyllic family home remains in keeping with the local vernacular.