PARTISANS sculpts 'fold house' in ontario to embrace the contours of its hillside site


In southern ontario, canada, PARTISANS has designed a residential property that follows the contours of its hillside site. ‘​fold house’ is an undulating, two-story dwelling made from wood and steel that is concealed through the land’s topography. PARTISANS has conceived the residence as a nature-oriented escape to share with family, friends and collaborators, centered around a swimming pool and guest house with a feature kitchen. the pool pavilion is nestled into the lower part of the hill and features an 80-foot long by 10-foot tall sliding glass façade, which offers sweeping views from a burrowed vantage point. the structure disguises a 90-foot steel structural beam that creates a cantilevered canopy, making the front of the pavilion appear as though it is floating.

PARTISANS has deployed compression-bent wood for the house’s façade and interiors. rarely deployed at this scale, this artisanal fabrication technique is typically used on furniture and musical instruments. the roof bears a visually striking, wave-like curvature viewable from the exterior of the building as well as from the inside the pool room. this feature simultaneously cradles a cascading external steel staircase, and creates a sculptural slope in the white oak ceiling of the pool room.

to minimize environmental impact and follow the escarpment regulations in the area, a 3D scan was performed to fine-tune the structure’s positioning. a green roof further blurs the distinction between building and landscape. in order to maximize sunlight throughout the year and reduce solar gain in the summer months, the windows have been structured in a checkerboard pattern along the guest houses, while the pool room features south-facing glazed sliding doors with deep overhang.