Project Update: Creemore House

Located in Creemore, Ontario, the 5 ha site of this private residence was chosen by the owners because it offered them the ability to grow, harvest and preserve their own food throughout the year. This effort to live more sustainably, embrace the seasons, and utilize eco-friendly building materials and techniques was the driving force behind our design of the house (read more about Creemore House here).


Speaking of seasons, winter has come for most of us in North America, including Creemore. Despite the snow, the framing is mostly complete and we can start to see different rooms and spaces taking shape.

The outdoor terrace at the front of the house will be used to process fruit from the orchard. The kitchen is adjacent to the terrace and will be used for food prep and canning (among other kitchen-y activities). The eaves under the pitched roof will provide a way to hang fruit to dry. 

Creemore House is slated for completion at the end of spring '18. 

Image by Office Ou

Small Stuff: Ou Workstation

First version of the Ou Workstation.
CNC milled, reclaimed white oak and acrylic side panels with polyester 2-way stretch fabric.
380mm x 220mm x 85mm
Power on by keyboard.


Gigabyte GA-Z270N-WIFI motherboard
Intel i5-7600K processor
SeaSonic SS-300TGW 300W TFX12V
Scythe Big Shuriken Rev. B
Cooler Master 80mm PWM Case Fan R4-BM8S-30PK-R0
Samsung 960 EVO M.2 500GB NVMe
ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1050 Ti

Posted by Sebastian Bartnicki

Introducing Project Due


Introducing Project DUE

A closer look at creating more diverse urban environments.



If you live in a city, chances are you love a good stroll down a bustling street. Encountering places with a diversity of uses helps to facilitate connections with our fellow city-dwellers and exemplifies why so many of us enjoy living in cities. That’s why it's no wonder people feel less enthused when they come across entire blocks devoted to banks and large grocery and drugstores.

Don't get us wrong — we buy food from large grocery stores and we bank at banks. We know that being able to easily access these kinds of institutions is important. But we also can't help but feel that recent urban development in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) is creating a uniform,  'ho-hum' version of street life with, very little diversity in use, experience or form. For a city that prides itself on plurality, complexity, and diversity, this monoculture offers none of the above, and inhibits connections with our fellow city-dwellers.

It doesn’t have to be like this. In the past, Toronto has created new dense, diverse urban areas such as Kensington Market and Chinatown's Dundas Strip, or even Yorkville. Around the world, places such as the alleyways of Golden Gai in Tokyo, or the multi-level, multi-use structure of Sewoon Sangga in Seoul offer a glimpse of the incredibly varied possibilities of inhabiting a city. These much-loved urban environments have managed to create and sustain a rich diversity of commercial and cultural experiences for residents. They offer visibility for innovative, alternative activities, which are usually forced out of the densest parts of our cities. These places aren't just a magnet for visitors; they breathe life into their cities; they are dynamic, chaotic and messy, and that's why we love them.

The GTHA is the fastest growing urban region in the North America and also the most ethnically diverse. We are at a crucial moment in our city’s development, yet it feels as if every new development is doomed to foster homogenous building typologies and singular uses of space before pen is even put to paper. So the question is, what can be done about it? How can we foster diversity in future urban developments to match the diversity of our city? Can we design of our city to encourage plurality, complexity, and diversity?

Enter Project DUE (Diverse Urban Environments)

Through a series of short essays, interviews and case studies (and hey, maybe even some proposals), we hope to uncover under which regulatory frameworks and development processes foster diverse urban environments, both locally and globally. We’ll ask: what are the necessary changes to make something similar possible in the GTHA today? And, finally, (because we are architects and designers) what could these urban environments look and feel like?

We want to approach this project with a sense of naive curiosity and excitement. We don’t pretend to have all the answers, but we’re genuinely interested in finding out. We'd love to have you along for the ride. Share your thoughts, get involved, help us out, and follow along... #DUEwithOfficeOu

(image of Shinjuku Golden Gai by Vivienne Gucwa, NY Through The Lens)

Posted by Office Ou