In early May 2017, we were approached to partake in a quick, but special project – something out of the ordinary, yet familiar to some of us. We were invited to design the exterior space of a subtle, yet well-considered bungalow on Lamont Blvd, in Winnipeg’s picturesque and aptly named suburb, Tuxedo. The house itself presents a dark, elongated and camouflaged exterior, with a beautifully light and bright interior. From within, smooth white walls and large, long windows open to the front and back yards, framing the landscape, welcoming its atmosphere inside.
The exterior space had not been touched since the family moved in, though the house had been completely renovated – all at once – keeping only the necessary structure intact. With a little girl and baby boy just born, the clients’ most immediate wish was to be able to pass easily from indoors to outdoors, and rest in the shade with babe in arms. The spaces should be cool, calm, and safe, with opportunities for play and escape for the children, offering just the appropriate amount of closeness with them as they grow and desire more privacy. Spaces for entertaining and a functional protected work space/garage were also fundamental elements of the brief to consider.
With a very quick timeline, as the family was hoping to break ground later that month – the design played out as a quick charette, and what we developed was more of a clear, conceptual plan to build from – a natural flow and organization based on their patterns of living.
The approach toward the back is defined and made more narrow with lush plantings. The space immediately surrounding the front of the home is simply framed with low lying-planters to softly screen the front window for privacy. The backyard remains open and simple, organized by planes and surfaces of wood, natural stone, and lawn, interrupted with little gardens which define varying use in space – a place to lounge, to dine, to have a bonfire, to work and enjoy the beautiful, heavy tree canopy, which covers the entire neighbourhood. Now in June, the building process is still in its early stages, but we’re very excited to share how this project will unfold through the remainder of the summer months.