The Elm Avenue Residence: A Cost-Efficient Home with Contemporary Profile

The Elm Avenue Residence A Cost Efficient Home With Contemporary Profile 12

Previously an intern architect in Canada, John Duerksen designed a cost-effective dwelling for his growing family of five. With the help of his friends, he constructed such house on a tight, tree-covered, infill lot situated in Steinbach, Manibota, Canada. This house, which is called the Elm Avenue Residence, is the starting point of his future firm after finishing the internship program.

The Residence

The Elm Avenue Residence A Cost Efficient Home With Contemporary Profile 12

This on-budget home is an example of a residence with a strong sensitivity to the site. Looking at the adjacent established homes, Duerksen was inspired to design his house by incorporating Victorian-style roofs.

The Elm Avenue Residence A Cost Efficient Home With Contemporary Profile 11

He also made sure that the house will retain as much natural light as possible regardless of the trees that surround the site.

The Elm Avenue Residence A Cost Efficient Home With Contemporary Profile 10

Considering the budget, he went with a dark wood siding for the exterior while fir plywood material was chosen for the interior staircase by which he made it himself.

The Elm Avenue Residence A Cost Efficient Home With Contemporary Profile 9

A rooftop patio placed above the garage was built given the lot’s tight parameters and predominantly shared landscape. In the rooftop patio, there is a vegetable garden and a lounge space.

Maximize Natural Lights

The Elm Avenue Residence A Cost Efficient Home With Contemporary Profile 8

To maximize natural sunlight in the interior, large-scale picture windows were installed.

The Elm Avenue Residence A Cost Efficient Home With Contemporary Profile 7

With this see-through installation, the house appears transparent from the outside.

The Stylish Staircase

The Elm Avenue Residence A Cost Efficient Home With Contemporary Profile 6

This staircase is the result of Duerksen’s creative touches. The staircase was designed to provide a strong focus on the open-plan interior.

The Elm Avenue Residence A Cost Efficient Home With Contemporary Profile 5

As mentioned earlier, he made the staircase himself by using laminated ¾” fir plywood sheets. Instead of using fasteners, the components are interlocked using mortise and tenon joints.

Configured Footprint

The Elm Avenue Residence A Cost Efficient Home With Contemporary Profile 4

The footprint was configured to support all of the existing trees without damaging their roots.

The Elm Avenue Residence A Cost Efficient Home With Contemporary Profile 3

However, an exception was made for a decaying tree sitting in the middle of the property. He decided to mill and repurpose the said tree into a central island/dining table.

The Elm Avenue Residence A Cost Efficient Home With Contemporary Profile 2

There is also a finger-jointed drop that provides soft definition between the dining room and the island.

Bright Kitchen

The Elm Avenue Residence A Cost Efficient Home With Contemporary Profile 1

Duerksen designed the kitchen to appear bright and open, creating a greater sense of spaciousness. This design apparently has affected the whole interior.

Photographer: Lindsay Reid

Via Dwell