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The Globe and Mail

A peek at architect Ian MacDonald's Caledon craft

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The 4,300-square-foot country house designed by Toronto architect Ian MacDonald, an especially fine instance of high-end rural architecture, opens toward the natural and man-made beauties of its site.

Tom Arban Photography

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The new house sits in a pastoral portrait. It occupies the 100-acre site with an old barn and a sequence of small connected ponds.

Tom Arban Photography

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The open-plan living and dining area offers a variety of pastoral prospects that can be seen through the glass walls.

Tom Arban Photography

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The materials palette runs to stone, form-cast or polished concrete, glass and white plaster, wood (warm white oak for the floors and cabinetry, Douglas fir for the unpainted rafters and roof supports that soar overhead) and corrugated steel (recalling the fabric of silos and barns.

Tom Arban Photography

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The house offers a range of spatial and sensuous experiences. Entering the front door, one descends from the vestibule by way of a long ramp. On one side is a handsomely rough plank-formed concrete wall. On the other is a large expanse of glass. Beyond it is a series of small pools that step down parallel to the ramp, and, back of the watercourse, a barrier made of stacked granite blocks. As one arrives at the bottom of this strongly defined processional route, the high-ceilinged main living zone gracefully broadens out.

Tom Arban Photography

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Illumination is an important: In addition to the hard sunshine reflected off the treeless meadows through the glass walls, softer radiance is captured by snorkel-like skylights and scattered downward into the interior.

Photographer: Tom Arban/Tom Arban Photography

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