The house draws inspiration from the rural heritage of Meaford and the surrounding area. The design takes the typology of a traditional barn and molds and reinterprets it to become a lively residence. Similar to the typical North American barn, the main entrance is placed centrally; but rather than a space for wagons to pull into, the central space is occupied by an outdoor entertainment space. The space can be modified depending on weather conditions. On warm summer days when the wind is blowing down the hill, the space can remain open and cooled by the breeze. On colder or very windy days, a set of sliding track screens can be moved to seal the space and create a more intimate setting. The outdoor deck leads to the entry foyer, the formal entrance to the house, which connects directly to the spacious and open Great Room. However, a large Mudroom/Laundry Room acts as an alternative entrance for muddy days. The first floor also has a large office which can be easily transformed into a bedroom suite. A sculptural steel staircase leads to the second floor from the foyer. The second floor is composed by the quieter and more private sections of the house, composing of the master bedroom, an exercise room, and a bedroom. The underground level is an unfinished space that houses both the cold storage and the mechanical equipment. The design chose to create this underground space in order to provide enough space for an air source heat pump and a hot water tank system that recycles excess heat and uses it for radiant heating through a concrete slab.
Having had previous experience with rammed earth structures, the design decided to utilize the principle of utilizing a large hat and sturdy boots for earth architecture. Although contemporary earth design has advanced greatly and has made systems a lot more resistant to water and humidity, it is good practice to elevate earth walls from potential standing water or seepage, as well as providing ample roofs to protect from water making its way into the structure. These issues become even more important in areas were freezing might occur, and water seepage can act as a wedge tearing the wall apart. Therefore, the massive earth walls sit atop a concrete base that elevates the house above ground level. The roof structures are pitch to prevent any pooling and also provide opportunity for rain water harvesting. Fortunately, finding suitable earth for construction should be easy in the region.
Along with mechanical systems such as the Air Source Heat Pump and Radiant Heating Floors, the design looks to passively heat and cool the residence as much as possible. The orientation of the second floor takes advantage of the predominant wind direction, which flows from west to east almost predominantly throughout the year. Operable windows in all the second floor rooms allow for cross ventilation. Additionally, large southern and eastern windows allow for the concrete floor of the Great Room to absorb heat during the cool months and radiate it throughout the day. Using highly insulated systems such as SIPs and SIREWALLs also allows for the house to be completely sealed from the exterior when the harsh winter weather hits.