ZERAFA ARCHITECTURE STUDIO designs Riverfront House in picturesque Niagara Falls
The principal feature of the 1.85 acre site fronting the Niagara River just upstream from the Horseshoe Falls is the long unobstructed river views across the full 164 ft width of the property. The 4,700 sq ft of interior living space and 1,200 sq ft of covered terrace were crafted to embrace this feature and find a balance between the relative transparency encouraged by the views and the privacy concerns of the owners.
The house is comprised of three distinct horizontal volumes. The building's north south massing is defined by 2 overlaid rectangular shells within which the glass, cedar and granite clad volumes for the interior living spaces are placed and a series of voids create covered exterior terraces. The shells are clad in silver metal panels and are mostly opaque to provide privacy from adjacent properties to the north and south. The open east and west ends of the shells reveal the River and garden views. All exposed interior surfaces of the shells are lined with t&g cedar siding to provide a warm interior transitional environment.
The ground floor shell floats 3 ft above the ground elevation to accommodate the long horizontal views to the River across the primarily flat site and give the building a delicate footprint in the landscape. The upper level shell is offset from the one below to create an exposed roof terrace to the north and a dramatic 17 ft cantilever to the south. The large cantilevered volume creates a covered entry to the garage area. The third volume clad in charcoal quartzite is a single story shell that slips under to support the cantilever and extends west into the rear garden.