Rough House

Rough House emerged from the relationship of an architect with a boutique building and landscape team, local artisans and select sub-trades with a history in hand-made execution. The single-family home embodies the idea that no one person can envision the outcome of a building built well.



Fundamental to the success of this project is the separation of the home from its neighbours in a tight urban condition. The narrowing of the building supports increased side-yard landscape edges. Displaced green space regains connectivity to the yard in an increased densification, and a play of textures increases intimacy between materials and occupant.


We planned every square inch of this building to be in in use – and it is. We called it Rough House because of the materials used, but another appropriate name would have been Working House.”

Clinton Cuddington


Materials were selected to showcase the work process of local skilled artisans (cabinetry, tile and curtains). To address the need for compositional balance at the building massing level, carbonized cypress was used for exterior cladding. Board-form concrete was selected for exterior window surrounds and soffits.



The main floor and second rely heavily on the Japanese principle of shakkei, or “borrowed view,” which attempts to capture a framed view of nature alive rather than create a less spectacular version within the building. The master bedroom and supporting amenities are in the basement, adjacent to a full-building-length exterior lightwell to southeastern light.