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| no: 2609-01
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Press kit - Press release - Compass House by superkül Named Architizer A+ Awards Jury Winner - superkül 

Compass House by superkül Named Architizer A+ Awards Jury Winner

Mulmur, Canada

superkül 

Toronto, Canada, 2017-05-25 -

Compass House by Toronto-based superkül recently claimed the 2017 Architizer A+ Award (Jury Winner) in the Residential Private House (L 3,000-5,000 sq ft) category. The esteemed Architecture & Design jury was comprised of: Chris Precht, Founder, Penda; Kristian Lars Ahlmark, Partner, Schmidt Hammer Lassen; Keely Colcleugh, Director and Founder, Kilograph; Kristen Brittingham Donnelly, Partner, Studio 2X. Honouring the best architecture, spaces and products from across the globe, the A+ Awards received an astonishing 5,000 entries from over 100 countries. In the past year, Compass House has also been named an Interior Design Best of Year Award Honoree, and was recognized with an Honourable Mention in the Residential Architect Design Awards.

 

Charting a New Course

Designed as a weekend home for a family of six, Compass House takes its name from the clients’ desire to chart a new course as they transition from an extended stay in the United Kingdom to life back in Canada. To achieve this, the design of the home transcends ordinary domestic programming, creating a place of spiritual resonance that orients and heightens one’s experience of the surrounding environment. Through its siting, massing, tectonics and materiality, it balances intimacy and expansiveness, light and dark, land and sky. 

 

Profound Connection to the Landscape

Located on the Niagara Escarpment, Compass House’s siting instrumentally establishes orientation. The house sits at the nexus of the land’s constituent characteristics: forests to the west, a hill to the south, and 100 acres of fields to the north and east. Set back from the road, it is surrounded by a thicket of trees to provide windbreak and a sense of enclosure. On approach from the existing farm lane, the white exterior helps register the seasons, distinct amidst the green fields of summer, and melding into a winter landscape of waning light and snow.

 

Landscape manipulations help embed and connect the house to its site: constructed with fieldstone found on the property, low retaining walls create a foundational plinth for the house and an enhanced sectional dynamic. Two perpendicular wings enclose an intimately scaled outdoor courtyard. In response to the building’s low-lying horizontality, the totemic form of the outdoor fireplace adds a critical vertical counterpoint, as do the judiciously placed skylights in the soaring pitched roof planes of the house, which allow soft washes of light to illuminate the interior. The eye is drawn upward, establishing an intensified and spiritual relationship to a larger environment of sky, sun and clouds.

 

Innovations on a Traditional Form

The form of the main residence innovates on the historical precedent of the longhouse — an inherently efficient typology found throughout Europe and parts of North America. With an elongated narrow footprint, all rooms and spaces enjoy pronounced natural light and ventilation. The length also allows for a balanced and effective distribution of programming, with a generously scaled yet intimate family space — including kitchen, dining and living areas — at the centre of the plan, and bedrooms comfortably separated on either end.

 

LEED Gold: Sustainable for Generations

Inside, floors and walls made from white oak and knotty white cedar are textured and warm. In contrast, the ceiling above the main space is white, expansive and seemingly boundless. The distinct difference in materiality echoes the meeting of land and sky outside. On the exterior, the firm’s commitment to an architecture that endures is manifest in the use of low-maintenance construction materials such as cement-board siding, aluminum windows and a steel roof. Built to age gracefully, the house will sustain for generations. Phase One of the project is already LEED Gold-certified, and its commitment to sustainability carries into Phase Two with a design that prioritizes natural daylighting, passive ventilation, high insulation values and construction waste reduction. The provision of an in-ground geothermal system furthers the goal of what is already exceptional energy performance. 


Data Sheet

Architect: superkül

Structural: Robert E. Brown and Associates Limited

General Contractor: Wilson Project Management

Square Footage: 4,300 SF

Project End Date: 2015

Photographer: Ben Rahn/A-Frame Studio

 

About superkül

superkül is the Toronto-based practice of principals Meg Graham and Andre D’Elia. Founded in 2002 upon a wide range of professional experience acquired in Canada and abroad, superkül is recognized as a leading Canadian design practice. Its commitment to design excellence, pragmatism and advanced building technologies has resulted in numerous architecture and design awards and recognition in several esteemed publications in local, national and international contexts.

 

The firm’s portfolio encompasses a wide variety of project types, including single-family and multi-unit housing, commercial and institutional work, and master planning. While diverse, all of the projects undertaken —regardless of scale—evidence an immaculate attention to detail and material resolution, and a profound connection to their built and natural contexts. Moreoever, the prevailing ethos in superkül’s work is one that prioritizes sustainability not as an afterthought but as a foundational principle, alongside the pragmatics of buildability and constructability.

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Press kit | 2609-01 - Press release | Compass House by superkül Named Architizer A+ Awards Jury Winner - superkül  - Residential Architecture - The white exterior helps register the seasons, distinct amidst the green fields of summer, and melding into a winter landscape of waning light and snow. - Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
The white exterior helps register the seasons, distinct amidst the green fields of summer, and melding into a winter landscape of waning light and snow.
Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
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High-resolution image
11.12 x 8.33
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Press kit | 2609-01 - Press release | Compass House by superkül Named Architizer A+ Awards Jury Winner - superkül  - Residential Architecture - Landscape manipulations embed and connect the house to its site: constructed with fieldstone found on the property, low retaining walls create a foundational plinth for the house and an enhanced sectional dynamic. - Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
Landscape manipulations embed and connect the house to its site: constructed with fieldstone found on the property, low retaining walls create a foundational plinth for the house and an enhanced sectional dynamic.
Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
Download
High-resolution image
15.0 x 10.0
300dpi
Press kit | 2609-01 - Press release | Compass House by superkül Named Architizer A+ Awards Jury Winner - superkül  - Residential Architecture - Inside, floors and walls made from white oak and knotty white cedar are textured and warm. In contrast, the ceiling above the main space is white, expansive and seemingly boundless. The distinct difference in materiality echoes the meeting of land and sky outside. - Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
Inside, floors and walls made from white oak and knotty white cedar are textured and warm. In contrast, the ceiling above the main space is white, expansive and seemingly boundless. The distinct difference in materiality echoes the meeting of land and sky outside.
Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
Download
High-resolution image
13.35 x 10.0
300dpi
Press kit | 2609-01 - Press release | Compass House by superkül Named Architizer A+ Awards Jury Winner - superkül  - Residential Architecture - A view from the primary living space through to the courtyard. - Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
A view from the primary living space through to the courtyard.
Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
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13.35 x 10.0
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Press kit | 2609-01 - Press release | Compass House by superkül Named Architizer A+ Awards Jury Winner - superkül  - Residential Architecture - Large bifold doors disappear, blurring the boundaries between interior and exterior space. - Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
Large bifold doors disappear, blurring the boundaries between interior and exterior space.
Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
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13.35 x 10.0
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Press kit | 2609-01 - Press release | Compass House by superkül Named Architizer A+ Awards Jury Winner - superkül  - Residential Architecture - The warm oak and cedar floors and walls contrast beautifully with the rough texture of the stone fireplace and the carved geometries of the sculpturally articulated ceiling planes. - Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
The warm oak and cedar floors and walls contrast beautifully with the rough texture of the stone fireplace and the carved geometries of the sculpturally articulated ceiling planes.
Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
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6.67 x 10.0
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Press kit | 2609-01 - Press release | Compass House by superkül Named Architizer A+ Awards Jury Winner - superkül  - Residential Architecture - Judiciously placed skylights in the soaring pitched roof planes of the house allow soft washes of light to illuminate the interior. - Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
Judiciously placed skylights in the soaring pitched roof planes of the house allow soft washes of light to illuminate the interior.
Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
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High-resolution image
13.35 x 10.0
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Press kit | 2609-01 - Press release | Compass House by superkül Named Architizer A+ Awards Jury Winner - superkül  - Residential Architecture - An intimate second-floor study provides views of the surrounding landscape through a triangulated window framed by the home’s pitched roof. - Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
An intimate second-floor study provides views of the surrounding landscape through a triangulated window framed by the home’s pitched roof.
Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
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7.49 x 10.0
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Press kit | 2609-01 - Press release | Compass House by superkül Named Architizer A+ Awards Jury Winner - superkül  - Residential Architecture - A hidden stair between the kitchen and principal bedroom suite connects the main space with a loft above. - Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
A hidden stair between the kitchen and principal bedroom suite connects the main space with a loft above.
Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
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7.49 x 10.0
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Press kit | 2609-01 - Press release | Compass House by superkül Named Architizer A+ Awards Jury Winner - superkül  - Residential Architecture - Spaces are oriented to capture different views of the landscape. Here, the bedroom enjoys a long view to over almost 100 acres of farmland. - Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
Spaces are oriented to capture different views of the landscape. Here, the bedroom enjoys a long view to over almost 100 acres of farmland.
Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
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Medium-resolution image
7.49 x 10.0
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Press kit | 2609-01 - Press release | Compass House by superkül Named Architizer A+ Awards Jury Winner - superkül  - Residential Architecture - A view from the bedroom suite into the expansive central family space. - Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
A view from the bedroom suite into the expansive central family space.
Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
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7.49 x 10.0
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Press kit | 2609-01 - Press release | Compass House by superkül Named Architizer A+ Awards Jury Winner - superkül  - Residential Architecture - The house looks to the east and west during the winter months onto forest and harvested farmland. Toward the end of spring, the opening of the central space’s bifold doors refocuses the view to the north and south onto hills and emerging crops. - Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
The house looks to the east and west during the winter months onto forest and harvested farmland. Toward the end of spring, the opening of the central space’s bifold doors refocuses the view to the north and south onto hills and emerging crops.
Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
Download
High-resolution image
15.54 x 10.0
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Press kit | 2609-01 - Press release | Compass House by superkül Named Architizer A+ Awards Jury Winner - superkül  - Residential Architecture - Two wings at right angles partially enclose an intimately scaled outdoor courtyard. - Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
Two wings at right angles partially enclose an intimately scaled outdoor courtyard.
Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
Download
High-resolution image
13.35 x 10.0
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Press kit | 2609-01 - Press release | Compass House by superkül Named Architizer A+ Awards Jury Winner - superkül  - Residential Architecture - A view of the courtyard and covered dining space from Phase Two. - Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
A view of the courtyard and covered dining space from Phase Two.
Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
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High-resolution image
13.35 x 10.0
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Press kit | 2609-01 - Press release | Compass House by superkül Named Architizer A+ Awards Jury Winner - superkül  - Residential Architecture - This is a project that is built to improve with age. The exterior displays the firm’s commitment to an architecture that endures, manifest in the use of low-maintenance construction materials such as cement-board siding, aluminum windows and a steel roof. Such efforts have resulted in Compass House receiving LEED Gold certification. - Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
This is a project that is built to improve with age. The exterior displays the firm’s commitment to an architecture that endures, manifest in the use of low-maintenance construction materials such as cement-board siding, aluminum windows and a steel roof. Such efforts have resulted in Compass House receiving LEED Gold certification.
Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
Download
Very High-resolution image
18.72 x 12.48
300dpi
Press kit | 2609-01 - Press release | Compass House by superkül Named Architizer A+ Awards Jury Winner - superkül  - Residential Architecture - Transcending ordinary domestic programming, Compass House creates a place of spiritual resonance that orients and heightens one’s experience of the surrounding environment. - Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
Transcending ordinary domestic programming, Compass House creates a place of spiritual resonance that orients and heightens one’s experience of the surrounding environment.
Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
Download
Very High-resolution image
12.48 x 18.72
300dpi
Press kit | 2609-01 - Press release | Compass House by superkül Named Architizer A+ Awards Jury Winner - superkül  - Residential Architecture - Set back into the 200-acre property and away from the road, the house is nestled into the land and against a line of trees that act as a windbreak and provide a sense of enclosure. The house virtually disappears into the snowy whiteness of the winter landscape. - Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
Set back into the 200-acre property and away from the road, the house is nestled into the land and against a line of trees that act as a windbreak and provide a sense of enclosure. The house virtually disappears into the snowy whiteness of the winter landscape.
Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
Download
High-resolution image
15.0 x 10.0
300dpi
Press kit | 2609-01 - Press release | Compass House by superkül Named Architizer A+ Awards Jury Winner - superkül  - Residential Architecture - The house sits at the nexus of the land’s constituent characteristics: forests to the west, a hill to the south, and 100 acres of fields to the north and east. - Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
The house sits at the nexus of the land’s constituent characteristics: forests to the west, a hill to the south, and 100 acres of fields to the north and east.
Photo credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
Download
High-resolution image
15.0 x 10.0
300dpi