The house is located on a 5 acre lot on the Mississippi River, near Pakenham, Ontario.  The lot was undeveloped and mostly second growth forest.  A ridge divided the lot in half; the steeply sloped section along the river was densely treed with eastern cedar and unsuitable for building because of the unstable nature of the clay soils along the riverbank. The back half of the lot had outcrops of white limestone and just behind the crest of the hill, a clearing had been cut by previous owners in the middle of a small plantation with red pine starting to reach 25' in height. 

The owners, a couple with grown children, wanted one large room on the main floor, with views in four directions but with an attached garage and studio on the main level. Specifically, they desired to be able to look out not only to the river below, but also directly away from the river to a garden that they planned, which because of the slopes and terrain could only be seen at floor level in that direction.