Canadian artist Christopher Griffin and his wife, spa and beauty boutique owner Oresta Korbutiak hired LB to turn their prairie-style home into a residence with a ground floor commercial space for her spa and boutique.

The successful architectural design had to produce cohesion between three elements - the existing structure, the new design and the art the client wanted to incorporate into the exterior walls of the building.

Birds/air are represented on the east wall.

Design Insight - Artist At Work

Artist/owner Chris Griffin hand toweled the fly ash concrete and etched his artistic engravings onto the sides of the building.

Fast Work

Fast Work

Fly ash concrete cures quickly. Chris needed to work just as fast for his artistic vision to come to life.

Departure from Convention

Departure from Convention

His work borrows heavily from the animal kingdom, so it seemed entirely natural that Chris Griffin used a series of bones, collected on his world travels, as tools for the art that adorns the exterior cladding.

Design Insight

From the beginning of the design process, incorporating sustainable elements and reclaimed materials was extremely important.

Sustainable Elements Include: 

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

  • Indigenous plantings.

Award Winner

This home was named winner of the 2009 Ottawa Housing Design Awards for “Best Green Renovation of the Year” as well as the “Best Housing Detail Award”.

Globally Inspired

Chris's work takes inspiration from his world travels. His unique navigation of a field of textures and a variety of shapes encapsulates character and spirit unique to his work.

Birds & air are represented on the east wall. Sunflowers & fire on the south, caribou & earth face north and the humpback whale & water faces west.
"One of Andrew's many strengths is listening. We wanted an environmentally conscious reno that honoured the building's origins. We got an award winning home with lasting appeal for the entire community"
Chris Griffin, Artist/Owner

James Usher built the original confectionary
Original property purchase amount
Owners since 1901
At least this many types of businesses have operated in the building


Contractor : Amsted Construction

Artist : Christopher Griffin

Concrete : Constructive Behavior