A two-and-a-half hours drive from Toronto, Cherry Valley offers the kind of Canadian rural idyll that celebrates nature and offers a calming daily life between the region’s seashore and a burgeoning wine-making industry. Within this lush countryside setting, Toronto based StudioAC, crafted a new retreat for a private client, set in minimalist architecture within a green, meadow-like plateau that descends towards the serene waters of a nearby lake.
Cherry Valley: a rural retreat at one with its setting
Designed as a low, long volume that feels respectful to both its natural surroundings and the region’s traditional vernacular, the home spans across a single level, sunken into the ridge. Large openings bring the interiors at one with the site’s thriving flora and leafy views.
‘This panoramic view immerses the viewer in the landscape rather than placing them on top of it, allowing observation of the strata of nature from soil, fern, tree, and sky,’ write the architects, headed by studio founders Jennifer Kudlats and Andrew Hill.
Inside, a carefully planned spatial sequencing and seating concept makes for a flowing, open plan living interior that takes up the majority of the programme. Meanwhile, set on the footprint’s edges, private quarters span three bedrooms and a selection of auxiliary spaces.
‘Brick and cedar celebrate the duality of the site,’ the architects continue, talking about the Cherry Valley house’s soft Douglas fit cladding and defining exposed masonry.
‘Brick is used on the solid wall that holds back the hillside into which the house is nestled, while a cedar roof wraps down the facade facing the water, engaging in a dialogue with the trees that frame the lake views.’