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2010 Governor General’s Medals
in Architecture

 

Ravine Guest House
 

Shim-Sutcliffe Architects Inc. (Toronto, ON)

Lead design architects:
Brigitte Shim, FRAIC
Howard Sutcliffe, MRAIC


The pavilion stands amidst a lush landscape abutting a Toronto ravine. This small glowing lantern, a quiet retreat and a pool house, blurs the distinction between inside and outside: a large fireplace is central to both interior and exterior living areas, wood flooring continues seamlessly from inside to outside terrace, and large glass and wood doors open fully to the outdoors. A minimal hanging steel structure suspends the continuous clerestory which enfolds both interior and exterior living spaces beneath it. The ceiling plane appears to hover and a deliberate ambiguity between interior and exterior is achieved as interwoven elements create interlocked spaces.


Click on a photo to enlarge:


photo: Raimund Koch

photo: Raimund Koch

photo: James Dow

photo: Raimund Koch

photo: James Dow

Jury Comment:

"The Ravine Guest House is an extremely sophisticated volume blending interior and exterior space.  The use of a reduced material palette is enhanced by the clarity of the structural solution making the clerestory seem to float above the seemingly continuous space."

"This retreat, a few minutes from downtown in a Toronto ravine, a carefully preserved natural haven, is a very sophisticated construction that boldly plays with the laws of gravity and tends to blur the line between inside and outside, where beautiful trees and the reflection off a water pool reinforce the meditative quality of this project.  The materials fit a tense and precise architectonic story that has a great clarity, proving that simplicity is the fruit of a patient and sensitive search for the truth.  In a way, it’s the perfect example of a manifesto for architectural beauty."


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