When you first drive by 194 Roxborough Drive, you might not think of it as a multiple award winning house. In fact, you might not think much of it at all. As only two storeys rise above the street-level, this house serves as a concrete example for there always being more than meets the eye.
However, once within, one can truly begin to marvel at its wonder. This 18,000 sq-ft masterpiece has been built into the side of the ravine it overlooks, resulting in 3 additional below-street storeys. A quick dive into the history of this house, however, makes you marvel even more.
In the late 1990’s, James Stewart, a professor at McMaster University (as well as an accomplished Violinist and Mathematician) had an idea for a house of a different kind. His vision included ideas of curves resembling those commonly derived through calculus. After commissioning Shim-Sutcliffe Architects in 1999 to convert his dream into a reality, Stewart set about staking land for his future masterpiece. In 2002, a house on Roxborough Drive was demolished, and in early 2003 the house began to take shape.
In 2009 – six painstaking years later – his work of art was complete. Already gaining traction from local news sources and Architectural Digest, Stewart realized his brainchild would require a name. He settled on Integral House, taken from the calculus Integral – as Stewart owed his wealth to his widely-popular calculus textbooks.
Integral house has received recognition from Architectural Digest, The Governor General, and more.
At 18,000 Square Feet, this house is gargantuan. The house features a wide array of eco friendly features – including Geothermal temperature control and a planted roof.
The lowest level is perhaps the most impressive. This indoor swimming pool is separated from the outdoor patio solely by a 24 foot towering wall of glass. At the touch of a button, the glass lowers into the floor and disappears.
Above the pool on the second floor is the study. Overlooking the ravine, this area features a gorgeous view in any season.
The third level was uniquely designed for Stewart himself. He wanted a concert hall that could be used for intimate performances…perhaps of his own violin recitals.
The upper levels, located at street level and above (respectively) contain all the features you’d expect of a house…kitchen, laundry, bedrooms, a guest suite…etc.
With its high price point, the Integral house may be a tough sell. Hopefully, however, with the right persuasion, the right buyer with an appreciation for architecture and music may strike out of the blue.