Stories A Green Family Homestead
While talking with Will, a radiologist from the Maritimes, and Katarina, a primary grade teacher raised in Sweden, it quickly becomes clear that building a modern Lindal was motivated by the desire to create a living environment that nurtures family and modern values.
Their Turkel Design Lindal, in Georgian Bay, 150 kilometers (90 miles) north of Toronto, is built into the sloping shoreline in order to minimize disturbance to the site’s natural environment, reduce energy costs, while enjoying a sweeping view of the water. “Our Lindal dealer, John Axmith made certain that the house placement preserved mature trees, and Joel Turkel made certain the roof overhangs were positioned to protect the house from hot summer sun and to welcome the warming sun deep into the house in winter. His computer modeling was right on,” marvels Will.
From the street, passers-by are treated to what looks like a one-level home with a single sweeping roof that, like the surrounding treetops, rises gracefully as it moves away from the shore, giving the appearance of being formed by the winds blowing off the bay. “We had no interest in having the largest home or the grandest home in our community,” muses Will. “But still the exterior is so bold and well-suited to the site that locals continue to stop abruptly and admire the house in passing.”
“Growing up in Sweden,” reminisces Katarina “in a rugged home built of fine wood, like our Lindal, teaches a reverence for the enduring quality of natural materials and our obligation to protect and renew them. Our girls are learning that in our new home, just as they are learning about the power of the sun. To them, every day is like summer camp, but we know that they are learning, too.”
Will and Katarina, whose families visit from long distances, wanted to make certain that several families could visit at the same time and be accommodated by the communal spaces but, as importantly, have places to retreat as family units for private time and sleeping. “We want our girls to really know their cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents, and the house enables that by sleeping over twenty people in five family units in small suites and private areas.”
The construction may be complete, but the work continues as Will and Katarina carry out plans for green certification in the various local and provincial programs. “We set out to build an environmentally responsible family home,” Will explains, “and carrying out the certification process as a family is an important part of our vision.”