Erin Small House is a high-performance 1,700 square foot modern box in the woods. Key goals for the project were a modern aesthetic, a flat roof, and a downsize in square footage while maintaining many different programmatic elements. Comfort, energy efficiency, aging-in-place, and low-maintenance were also driving factors in the design.
The owners, a newly retired couple, previously lived in the 4,500-square foot house next door: the “big” house. The original house, where they raised their children and ran a small business, is now home to their son and family. Their new “small” house is situated in a beautiful clearing in the forest on the adjoining 50-acre parcel.
The land is comprised of rolling hills formed by ancient glaciers. The glacial till deposits also left boulders, gravel, and small trees unique to this part of Ontario. The driveway construction revealed large boulders underneath, which the owners have used to create picturesque sculptures on the property.
The site of the house is on top of a crest overlooking a small valley to the south, and there is a beautiful ironwood tree that is the focal point of many of the home’s views. To the west is a mature maple forest, and to the north and east are smaller trees and open fields.