In Perfect Unison

“As architect Betsy Williamson describes, for a home that needed to manage intergenerational living, the client brief was refreshingly succinct. “The client is a couple and the parents of one of the members of the couple are elderly and needed an accessible apartment effectively within the home so that they could all live together. It was also important that all the major rooms of the house had views of the creek.” 

Located alongside Ancaster Creek in Ontario, this L-shaped building, designed by Toronto’s Williamson Williamson Inc., combines two homes for two couples. The components of each are relatively ordinary, yet extraordinary when combined. 

The house was first conceptualized as two long rectangular blocks or bars: one for the client couple and one for the parents. Williamson explains: “The house is two bars and each bar has the full programme of a home – kitchen, living, dining, bedrooms and bathrooms. One bar is parallel to the creek and that’s the main part of the house… the other bar is perpendicular to the creek and that’s for the parents. And then they stack in the corner.”

Writer Melanie McDaid and I could have gone on for hours about the freedoms and constraints we come upon during the design process. Hint: We love both! Some of her words make an appearance in Urbis this month.