The Story

Canadian artist Christopher Griffin hired our firm to help him turn an existing prairie style home with a commercial extension, built in 1901 as a confectionery, into a residence he and his family could enjoy while also housing his wife’s organic spa and boutique. It was essential to create an architectural design that would produce cohesion between the existing structure, the new design elements, and the art, depicting nature scenes, the client wanted to incorporate into the exterior walls of the building. Finding an appropriate construction medium that would display the client’s artistic vision on the exterior of the house was crucial. Incorporating sustainable elements and reclaimed materials was of major priority in the design from the outset.

The sustainable elements include: fly ash concrete cladding, reclaimed barn wood from the existing home’s interior walls, solar powered water heating, green roof canopy, bullfrog power, soy based insulation, and indigenous plantings.

This home achieved Winner of the 2009 Ottawa Housing Design Awards for “Best green renovation of the year” and “Best housing detail award”, and was also published in Dwell Magazine--online homes section--and Guerilla Magazine.

Contractor – Amsted Construction
Artist - Christopher Griffin
Concrete – Constructive Behavior