Ellis Park House is a 4,300 square foot family home located in the Bloor West Village neighborhood of Toronto in Ontario, Canada. The single family home, completed in 2006, presents a great example of a holistic and integrated approach to sustainable design. Altius Architecture Inc. overcame construction challenges to successfully build this “bold modern house” on an overgrown infill site, and the Ellis Park House sets a standard for sustainability that the firm continues to practice today.
Where others thought “impossible” – Altius saw potential. The 168 Ellis Park overgrown infill site was originally considered unbuildable. Although a hindering 45 degree slope and shallow lot presented many problems, the desirable urban location allowed great possibilities for passive solar gain orientation and spectacular views over Toronto’s High Park.
Altius’ permanent approach of soil nailed shoring was unprecedented in Ontario. This method provided earth retaining structure to stabilize the extreme slope. Soil nailing is a reinforcement technique which improves the internal strength of soil masses and makes them self-supporting. After inserting a system of grouted steel bars (nailing), the structure is then supported by weather-resistant facing or a retaining wall.
The house is comprised of insulated concrete forms and structural insulated panels. The majority of the structural steel frame and heavy timber beams were reclaimed from a World War II era aircraft hanger at CFB Ottawa or salvaged from the Ottawa River.