Dove by Studio Agathom Co. Ltd is an Urban Oasis That Blends Luxury and Sustainability

Dove is the real escape from the urban world, or as the client to Studio Agathom Co. Ltd described it a “cottage in town”. Dove has also become the winner of the LIV Hospitality Design Award in Architectural Design of a Private House category.

Dove is a series of interconnected tents or pavilions in the landscape rather than rooms cut into a vast shell. Each space is independently situated and connected by multiple routes – thought of as trails so that each main room becomes a destination. The experience and the sensation that Dove is envisioned to give corresponds to strolling through Ontario woods and meadows – gently up over logs, under low canopies dramatically sweeping to towering heights, squeezing through rock canyons, and passing water streams.

The heart of the home wraps around back-to-back fireplaces like a gathering place at a clearing in the forest. Natural light is celebrated through unexpected glimpses, washing walls, and reflecting off surfaces. Every moment of each day of the year creates entirely different qualities of light and shadow play.

The house is designed to distinguish itself by its use of deeply ridged cast-in-place concrete. It serves as a structural support and the finished texture within. The surface of the concrete carries the grain of the rough wood boards used to form it, giving a rich tactile character, and expressing the memory of its making. Cast concrete walls cross from exterior elements into the interior. The folded main roof, lined with white birch on the interior and rich weathering steel on its outer skin, rises through the spaces, cradling the interior like a tent.

The building is designed to be rigorous in its performance and energy use. The house is designed to make use of ground-source heating and cooling. It generates electrical power from an extensive solar photovoltaic array. It also draws irrigation water from a well on site. The thermal design of the building’s envelope was carefully engineered and far out-performs the standards set by the building code.

In addition to the design, Agathom Co. Ltd provided custom lighting fixtures, bespoke rugs, and built-in furniture. They also designed the greenhouse, covered walkway, pool, and landscape.

Studio Agathom Co. Ltd is an architectural studio and workshop. The work of the team is an extension of collaborative processes built on a foundation of broad technical expertise and a dedication to craftsmanship. Agathom Co. Ltd‘s team enjoys working on projects entailing a broad range of interrelated challenges including planning, landscape, interior detailing, and building design.

Photo credit: Steven Evans & Doublespace Photography