This striking 17,222 sq. ft. second house is located on the shoreline of Lake Huron, one of the five Canadian Great Lakes, approximately one hour from London, Ontario. The lake ‘cottage’—although in reality, far from your average getaway—is used as a retreat by its owners throughout the year, for all three generations of the family to enjoy.
In order to create a striking contemporary space for the owners, Neolith®, the pioneering brand of Sintered Stone, was specified for both the exterior and interior of the house. The houseowners requested a space that was durable, versatile, low maintenance and visually captivating from the inside out.
The architects and designers are Mark Bullivant and Johan Basson at SAOTA in Cape Town, South Africa, in collaboration with Steven Cooper and Phil Sharron at London, Ontario-based firm, matter architectural studio inc. Conceptually, the architects stacked a series of rectangular boxes to embed the building into the ground plane and suspended one overhead so that the living level could exist in between.
They then placed an indoor-outdoor volume to the south in order to anchor the building and allow the various spaces to capitalize on the views. The architects have designed it so the setting sun creates a dramatic view from the living room in the summer. Further, the spaces within the house are fluid, yet well-structured, ensuring the house has a casual, effortless feel—a big driver given the house was built for the whole family to relax and entertain.
Neolith was specified throughout the interior of the house in collaboration with distributing partners, Marble Trend and Ontario Panelization. It was used for all the flooring, bathrooms, kitchen ceiling, several corridors, and the stairwell, which is three stories high.
The interior color palette is a subtle representation of the exterior, with a strategic balance of light and dark. While Strata Argentum was used for the floors, Krater was used to achieve the blackened metal look of the fireplaces and external screens.
The seamless continuity of material from the inside out was further aided by Stone and Textures artist, Eva Chylinski, who hand-painted the edges of each surface to match its pattern.
The entire exterior of the house is clad in Neolith, and 21,000 sq. ft. of the material was specified for the Ceramitex® Facade System utilizing the proprietary Unity® Attachment Technology by Elemex® and installed by Ontario Panelization. Here, architects Bullivant and Basson used a lighter hue, creamy Strata Argentum, to blend in with the snowy landscape in the winter and bright skies in the summer, and the darker charcoal Nero Zimbabwe to match the lower-level forest and the rest of the surrounding environment.
The large-format panels are thin but extremely durable, allowing easy handling which lends itself to be cut into complex shapes to suit the project's unique geometry. The scratch and impact-resistant surfaces are appropriate for the rugged setting and allow for heavy family use without fear of permanently making the floors and walls.
Neolith was specified for this project due to its similarity in appearance to elements found in nature with the added benefits of durability, versatility, and even sustainability. This makes it a modern and practical choice for a range of residential applications.
All Neolith slabs are 100% natural and produced in a carbon-neutral environment, making them appropriate for specification in any professional or residential surfacing application. Neolith is also a safe and hygienic material, never compromising on performance and visual appeal.
|matter architectural studio inc.
|Neolith distributing partner
|Elemex Architectural Facade Systems
|MCI Design Build
Subcontractor of interior tile fabrication project manager
|Bernardo Group Ltd.
|Subcontractor of exterior fabrication and installation