House in Frogs Hollow, designed by Williamson Chong Architects.
Bob Gundu House in Frogs Hollow, designed by Williamson Chong Architects.

Williamson Chong Architects 

Rather than ruin the natural views of hilltops on their property, the clients for the House in Frogs Hollow, located in Grey Highlands, Ontario, Canada, instead chose to hide most of this 2,000-square-foot stacked box residence behind a hillside. Avid cyclists themselves, they cut in mountain biking trails around the property, recognizing the importance of the terrain as a community recreational asset. The house comprises two floors, with a living room and bicycle maintenance workshop at ground level, and bedrooms, bathrooms, and a family room on the second level. A digitally fabricated stair enclosure joins the two floors, allowing otherwise-wasted understair space to become a widened entryway with a modulated rhythm that subtly references the surrounding landscape. “You get this iconography of grasses in the stair,” juror Gregory Hoss said. The exterior cladding of the upper level, stained in iron oxide pigment, blends parametric design with more traditional shiplap siding. Juror Cary Bernstein was impressed with how the architects took commonplace elements such as the cladding as opportunities for “exploring new technologies for fabrication and integrating [them] in a really great way.”

Click here to see all of the winners of the 2014 Residential Architect Design Awards.

Living area.
Bob Gundu Living area.
Entry terrace.
Bob Gundu Entry terrace.
Access path.
Bob Gundu Access path.
Elevation and green roof.
Bob Gundu Elevation and green roof.
Wood-clad internal stair.
Bob Gundu Wood-clad internal stair.


Courtesy Williamson Chong Architects

Project Credits

Project  House in Frogs Hollow, Grey Highlands, Ontario
Architect  Williamson Chong Architects, Toronto—Betsy Williamson, Shane Williamson (partners)
General Contractor  Wilson Project Management
Structural Engineer  Blackwell Engineering
Photography  Bob Gundu  
Project Size  2,000 square feet
Construction Cost  $250 per square foot

Materials and Sources

Bathroom Cabinets  Custom birch veneer by WCA
Bathroom Fittings  Grohe
Bathroom Fixtures  Duravit; Toto
Countertops  Wilsonart  (laminate)
Dishwasher  Blomberg
Exterior Siding  Custom milled pine by WCA
Flooring  Polished concrete; Pollock’s Flooring
Kitchen Cabinets  Custom birch veneer by WCA
Kitchen Fittings  Grohe
Lighting Fixtures  Gehry Cloud Light
Oven  Dacor
Paints and Finishes  Benjamin Moore & Co.
Refrigerator  Fisher & Paykel
Roofing  Two-ply modified Bitumen
Solar Energy System  Passive solar
Windows  Loewen