Deerwood House

Solares Architecture designed a modern, high-performance Toronto house that integrates inside and outside, supports a range of activities, and provides for aging-in-place.

  • area / size 1,700 sqft
  • Year 2020
  • Location Toronto, Canada,
  • Type House,
  • Deerwood House is a high-performance 1,700 square foot modern box in the woods north of Toronto. Our clients’ key design goals were a modern aesthetic, a flat roof, and a downsize in square footage while maintaining many programmatic elements. Comfort, energy efficiency, aging-in-place, and low-maintenance were also driving factors in the design.

    The owners, a newly retired couple, wanted to downsize from their previous home where they had raised their children and had run a small business. Their new smaller house is situated in a beautiful clearing in the forest on a nearby 50-acre parcel of land.

    The property 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. The surrounding woods are home to many deer that occasionally make themselves visible from the picture windows.

    The home accommodates many different elements of programming all on one level. The one-storey design merges the inside and outside as though they are the same ground, while also supporting aging-in-place. The layout maximizes on compact, well designed spaces, and takes advantage of the great views of the property.

    The main space of the home is the great room, where the owners plan to host family, large cookouts, and parties. It is also home to a built-in wood-burning stove, fueled by the abundance of wood on the property. There is a home office that also serves as a guest room and tv room, and there is a separate nook for a second, smaller workspace. The master suite occupies the opposite end of the house from the great room, with a full ensuite and walk-in-closet. Off the kitchen is an open-air terrace, and nestled on the west side of the great room is a large, screened-in porch.

    The design is simple, elegant, and eminently functional. The materials used reflect the spirit of the original vision.

    Design: Solares Architecture
    Photography: Nanne Springer