This house by Partisans “folds” into the contours of a Canadian hill site

The Fold House reveals a dramatic, wavy roof that dips into the ground before curving back up toward a two-storey guesthouse, its surfaces clad in compression bent wood.

by Jincy IypePublished on : Jan 30, 2021

A dipping timber and steel overhang outlines the architecture of the Fold House, a robust dwelling that “folds” into the hillside contours in Southern Ontario, Canada. Designed by Partisans, the structure encompasses an elegant, neat pool and wood lined, spacious living spaces. The pool pavilion rests on the lower part of the slanting hill, its dip hosting an external staircase that step on to the oak lined roof, rising to meet the two-storey guesthouses at the far end.

  • Fold House designed by Toronto-based studio Partisans | Fold House by Partisans | STIRworld
    Fold House designed by Toronto-based studio Partisans Image: Courtesy of Partisans
  • Narrow windows on the timber clad, stacked guesthouses | Fold House by Partisans | STIRworld
    Narrow windows on the timber clad, stacked guesthouses Image: Courtesy of Partisans

The residential architecture features a green roof that blends into the landscape, and a 24.3 m long and three m tall south facing, sliding glass façade that provides encompassing views, and opens into a trimmed garden. “The undulating structure disguises the 27 m steel structural beam that creates a cantilevered canopy, making the front of the pavilion appear as though it is floating,” shares the Toronto-based studio. The sweeping roof that houses the swimming pool creates a light filled, cavernous entrance and lobby space that diverges toward the door at the back and a corridor that leads into the guesthouse ground floor.  

Timber clad guesthouses and massive sliding glass doors | Fold House by Partisans | STIRworld
Timber clad guesthouses and massive sliding glass doors Image: Courtesy of Partisans

Partisans reveal that the client lost his family home a few years back to a fire, and they rebuilt it into this retreat. They also explain that in order to decrease environmental impact due to new construction, a 3D scan was done to fine tune the structure’s positioning and processes.

  • The sweeping canopy houses a swimming pool underneath | Fold House by Partisans | STIRworld
    The sweeping canopy houses a swimming pool underneath Image: Courtesy of Partisans
  • Pool Pavilion | Fold House by Partisans | STIRworld
    Pool Pavilion Image: Courtesy of Partisans

The dramatic curved roof and beige interior surfaces are built with compression-bent wood, “an artisanal fabrication technique typically used on furniture and musical instruments, and rarely deployed at this scale. The roof has a significant wave-like curvature that is visually striking from the exterior of the building as well as from the inside of the pool room, opening up space to cradle the cascading external staircase and creating a sculptural slope in the white oak ceiling of the pool room,” explain co-founders of Partisans, Alexander Josephson and Pooya Baktash.

  • Inside the guesthouses on the ground floor | Fold House by Partisans | STIRworld
    Inside the guesthouses on the ground floor Image: Courtesy of Partisans
  • Kitchen | Fold House by Partisans | STIRworld
    Kitchen Image: Courtesy of Partisans

The stacked, rounded guesthouses are clad in vertical wooden strips, with windows placed in a checkerboard pattern to maximise sunlight received across seasons, and reduce solar gain during summers. Timber also dominates most of the residential design, including three bedrooms and the kitchen area on the lower floor. One out of the four attached bathrooms here presents a fresh pop of colour with a backdrop of jewel green square tiles and fittings with accents of gold.

  • Green tiled bathroom | Fold House by Partisans | STIRworld
    Green tiled bathroom Image: Courtesy of Partisans
  • One of the bedrooms | Fold House by Partisans | STIRworld
    One of the bedrooms Image: Courtesy of Partisans

Project Details

Name: Fold House
Location: Southern Ontario, Canada
Area: 415 sqm
Year of completion: 2020
Architect: Partisans

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