Draw a barn. Now look at the shape. It almost certainly features a triangular roof. When a Canadian couple approached Cindy Rendely to design a home for them in the Ontario countryside, however, it took a lot of convincing—and cries of "modern doesn't mean flat"—for her to agree that a vernacular slope could work itself into the design of this weekend retreat.
Having found a 100-acre farm featuring rolling corn fields, the couple asked Rendely, of Cindy Rendely Architexture, to design a place that was "comfortable and modern and appropriate for the country."
Rendely gave in and incorporated a more traditional gable roof but inside the house, which has been dubbed The Farm, it's all modern. Around the cherry dining room table are ten Eames shell chairs.
The home primarily features two materials: tile and wood. In between the dining room and living room, a fireplace is wrapped in floor tiles of a similar color to those lining the ground. Above, Douglas Fir plywood lines the ceiling. Rendely wanted a ceiling that had a rustic, distinctively non-urban look to it, and everyone agreed a wooden ceiling would make the space feel more cozy.
Though technically all one space, the living room, dining room, and kitchen are separated by the double-sided fireplace. When the couple comes to the house, the stay is center around relaxing, reading, walking, snowshoeing, and, in summer, swimming in the pool.
The second floor features the master bedroom and bathroom. From certain spots in the house—and on clear days—Lake Ontario can be seen in the distance (five miles away).
Inside the master bedroom, the juxtaposition of old and new is pronounced. Wooden furniture sits next to a streamlined built-in bench. The wood-framed windows open up to views of the gabled roof.
In addition to the barn-like roof, another key requirement for the house was a studio. In here, one of the couple creates collages and other works of art.
Rendely, who is also a product designer, prides herself on the way the house sits in the landscape like an object, as The Farm was her attempt to create architecture as sculpture. The residents are happy they have their rural retreat with a barn-inspired profile. "This is much more interesting than if it were white and flat," they said when it was finished.
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