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Lake House, Wellington, Ontario

Lake House, Wellington, Ontario

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    Courtesy Richard Williams Architects

    Located two hours east of Toronto on a bluff overlooking Lake Ontario, the compact house is barely visible from the road.

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    Courtesy Richard Williams Architects

    The elevation is a pattern of solids and voids.

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    An oak ceiling at the entryway continues into the kitchen, laundry, and utility room, visually dividing the entry and service spaces from the main living area.

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    Courtesy Richard Williams Architects

    The oak planking modulates the section and adds warmth to the gray and off-white color palette and concrete floors.

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    Courtesy Richard Williams Architects

    The main living area offers an unobstructed view of the lake.

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    Courtesy Richard Williams Architects

    Floor plan. The program was reduced to the bare essentials: a bedroom suite, a study that doubles as a guest room, and living space that can accommodate large gatherings.

There’s much praise these days for small dwellings that feel spacious, a quality this house has in spades. Partly it’s the organizational clarity—one room deep with a lean, low profile and a solid/void pattern that presents the Lake Ontario view. But the judges were most impressed with the interior’s quiet craftsmanship. Its signature statement is an oak plank ceiling and wall that moves through the entry corridor and into the kitchen, laundry, and utility room.

“It visually divides the entry and service areas from the larger public space,” says architect Richard Williams. The oak planking adds some warmth to the stainless steel countertops and hard-troweled, unpolished concrete floors. Smooth planes and the gray and off-white color palette help create a house that is “quite abstract, ambiguous as to what its size could be,” Williams says.


Entrant/Architect: Richard Williams Architects, Washington, D.C.; Builder: Knudsen Construction, Belleville, Ontario; Interior designer: Drummond La Traverse Interior Design, Toronto; Living space: 1,500 square feet; Site: 5.8 acres; Construction cost: $200 per square foot; Photographer: Richard Williams Architects.


Resources: Bathroom fittings and fixtures: Ginger, www.gingerco.com; Dishwasher: Bosch, www.bosch.com; Garbage disposer: Kitchen Aid, www.kitchenaid.com; Hardware: Omnia, www.omniaindustries.com; Kitchen cabinets: IKEA, www.ikea.com; Kitchen fixtures: Vigo, www.vigoindustries.com; Lighting fixtures: Lightolier, www.lightolier.com; Range: GE, www.geappliances.com; Paints/stains/wall finishes: Benjamin Moore, www.benjaminmoore.com; Refrigerator: GE, www.geappliances.com; Skylights/roof windows: Velux, www.veluxusa.com; Walls and ceilings: Moncer, www.moncer.com; Windows: Old Castle, www.oldcastle.com