CANTERRA Design + Build Finalist in the 37th Annual GOHBA Housing Design Awards

We are thrilled to announce that once again, CANTERRA Design + Build is a finalist in the GOHBA Housing Design Awards – this year for four awards in three categories! The nominations are genuinely humbling, and we are proud to be finalists alongside the best of the best from Ottawa’s most talented architects, designers and builders.

We invite you to read on and explore the details behind these nominated projects. In true Canterra style, these stunning custom homes flood with natural light, they feature vast entertaining and living spaces, and they artistically present unique contemporary details.

Heart’s Desire – Custom Home (3,001 sq. ft. or more)

Specifically designed to take advantage of the naturally sloping terrain from the back to the front of the property, Heart’s Desire features a three-storey front and a two-storey rear.

Upon walking up the front porch stairs of this four-bedroom, three-car garage home, you’ll enter into a two-storey volume space with two distinct design elements – a u-shaped floating open riser stairwell with glass guardrails, and a cultured stone feature wall separating the living spaces while anchoring the entire main level. You’ll also notice that we maximized our glass use throughout the home, allowing an expansive amount of glazing to flood the home with natural lighting on all levels, front and back – giving the illusion that the outdoors is coming inside.

The open concept main floor combines a great room, eating area, kitchen with a walk-in pantry, and an island that flows effortlessly towards the wet bar/servery area that doubles as a separation leading to the formal dining room. Contemporary styling, modern finishes, and ceiling bulkhead features allow this space to flow seamlessly from room to room.

The covered lanai in the backyard features an outdoor kitchen, an entertaining/eating area, and an exposed terrace level, tying into the in-ground pool area, creating an endless expanse of outdoor living space. Balconies along the front of the home, off the dining room, home office, and master bedroom, as well as the full height windows along the back, take in all the mature beauty of the neighbourhood, including the front yard view of the calmly flowing river across the way.

Moving up to the second floor of the home, you’ll find yourself in an upper hall overlooking the main foyer, four bedrooms, shared or private ensuites, a functional laundry room, and a fully-equipped master bedroom with a feature balcony overlooking the river.

Heart’s Desire was ideally built with a comfortable lifestyle and entertaining in mind, whether indoors or outdoors. All combined in a mature wooded setting, this indoor/outdoor oasis an absolute delight.

The Crestview – Custom Urban Home (3,001 sq. ft. or more) – Contemporary

Constructing a large-scale urban feel was the cornerstone of this custom, contemporary two-storey, four-bedroom home with a two-car garage. We took a minimalist approach to create a unique design while demonstrating efficient use of land and effective infill development. Prominent features were selected for the exterior finishes to accentuate the homes’ unique design elements and establish a sense of movement.

Moving inside of The Crestview, a vast amount of natural light greets you as it flows freely throughout the home. We achieved this by maximizing window glazing as much as possible – the great room, eating area, and kitchen all feature full height glazing along the home’s entire back wall. We also designed the open concept main floor with volume spaces, front to back, separated by a mezzanine surrounded by glass guard rails, and an open concept office featuring full-height glass across the front.

The Crestview’s open concept main floor combines a great room, a formal dining room, and a kitchen with a large island and eating area. The kitchen opens up to the rear yard, which boasts a wood deck, hot tub, and lower patio surrounded by a stained wood fence for privacy. Off the main living space are the home’s mudroom and powder room with garage access. There is also a side entrance behind the garage to develop the basement into an optional secondary dwelling.

Heading towards the second floor of the home, you’ll find a modern self-supporting open riser stairwell with continuous glass guardrails. Upon reaching the upper level, you’ll be immersed by the mezzanine, which overlooks the main foyer and dining areas. Exploring further are three bedrooms, the main bathroom, a functional laundry room, and a fully equipped master bedroom with a slim wall mount gas fireplace, open access closet with built-in millwork, a full ensuite, plus access to an exterior cantilevered balcony retreat overlooking the rear yard.

The Crestview brings new meaning to open concept with its vast floor-to-ceiling windows and uniquely designed mezzanine. It is a true sanctuary within the city.

Canary Ridge – Custom Home (3,001 sq. ft. or more)

The primary objectives for this two-storey, five-bedroom, three-car garage home design was functionality and effective use of space for a busy family with four young children and working parents.

Walking into the symmetrical front entry, Canary Ridge boasts 10’ ceilings throughout the main level. You are also immediately “WOWED” by the free-standing, self-supported circular stairwell, which is centred in the space and acts as an anchor tying in all the other living spaces around it (on all floor levels). Additionally, the stairwell serves as a divider between the great room and foyer, providing separation and a sense of privacy between the two spaces. This linear style home was designed to flow around the circular staircase, including the second floor, which features each room on a 45-degree angle around the upper hall space.

Another prominent feature within Canary Ridge is the double-sided linear gas fireplace, which separates the open-concept spaces while simultaneously bringing them together. Exploring the main level, you will also find a modern kitchen with European style millwork, a large island with bar stools, and a walk-in pantry. The eating area off the kitchen conveniently accesses a separate covered cooking area independent from the covered lanai. You’ll access the rear, covered lanai through the home’s great room, beautifully uniting the home’s indoor and outdoor spaces. Not to mention expansive glazing throughout, which floods the home with an abundance of natural light.

On the second floor, you are greeted with 9’ ceilings featuring tray ceiling details, a functional laundry room, four individual children’s bedrooms with shared ensuites, and a generous sized master bedroom with a raised ceiling retreat area, a spacious walk-in closet, and a full master ensuite. A secondary back staircase serves as quick access between the bedrooms and the main floor, reducing travel distance for added convenience and flow throughout the home. It opens into an expansive mudroom that can accommodate all six family members with access to a secondary back entrance.

Built with a busy family’s needs in mind, the home is functional yet stylish without compromising on design.

Canary Ridge – Contemporary Spiral – Housing Details

Canary Ridge is also a finalist in the Housing Detail category for the Contemporary Spiral staircase, which centers the entire home.

Upon walking into the symmetrical front foyer, you are immediately taken aback by the free-standing, modern style circular stairwell centred in the space. It acts as an anchor that ties together all other living spaces on all floor levels.

The inspiration for this contemporary spiral staircase came from drawing basic geometric shapes – a circle drawn centred inside a box on a vertical and horizontal grid system, with added grid lines at 45 degrees going from each square corner to corner.

All living areas were then designed around the circular stair concept, so the spaces flow all around. This includes the second floor, featuring each room on a 45-degree angle off the upper hall and open down to the basement. Additionally, the circular stairwell serves as a divider between the great room and the foyer, providing separation and a sense of privacy between the two spaces. The circular shape also helps soften the linear edges of interior space.

When building the Contemporary Spiral, a major structural requirement was to ensure the staircase was self-supporting, so it appeared free-standing without any intermediate support. We achieved this with the closed riser and closed stringers on each side, making the staircase appear as though it’s punching through a hole from the second floor and twisting continuously down into the basement like a corkscrew.

Although the circular styling appears more traditional in nature, the actual stairs were designed and fabricated with a more modern look and finish. With tapered risers (without nosings), metal spindles attached to the structural stringers, and a modern profile wood railing cap system, the contemporary look is achieved. Although we created a fresh feel with the finishes used to complete the Contemporary Stair, it does not entirely abandon its traditional roots. The upper hall dropped ceiling bulkhead frames the entire circular ceiling with potlights enhancing the staircase’s detail, and it’s finished off with the formal look of a beautiful suspended chandelier centred directly over the stair opening.

We have loved working on every aspect of these projects, and we can’t wait to see everyone’s hard work celebrated at the 37th Annual GOHBA Housing Design Awards on November 20th…virtually, of course!