The clients acquired a 5 ha piece of land near Creemore with a dream of living on a site where they can grow their own food as well as processing it into different types of preserves, dry goods and cooked dishes. We designed their home as a flexible productive hub, a place whose identity changes with the seasons, and the agricultural and culinary activities associated with different times of the year.
The house has a large flexible interior, an east-facing patio for processing crops, and large overhangs on the South side equipped with a hanging system to dry all kinds of site-harvested foods including persimmons, wild flowers, radishes, cattails, wild rice, etc... Most drying activities take place during spring, summer and fall, taking optimal advantage of the southward exposure of the house.
During the winter, when the sun is lower in the sky, the facade is not used for drying any produce, letting the sun shine far into the house, passively warming it.
This house is another foray into the use of straw as insulative material, and the building envelope reaches R-values of 45-50 through the use of 16” thick walls made of locally harvested straw.