Houses of the Gatineau Hills

The following article first appeared in "The Low Down to Hull and Back News" in the November 30, 2016 issue. Reprinted with permission.

Function and form under one healthy roof

by Mary Fahey

Hank Kloosterman had to come up with an idea for his thesis. The Dutch architect had been designing and building homes in Chelsea for years, but he was determined to go back to school and finish his degree. When a couple approached him and asked him to design a healthy home about 20 years ago, it inspired him to broach the question for his thesis: what's a healthy home, and how do you build one?

Houses of the Gatineau Hills
Hank Kloosterman's home at 24 Lupins Rd. is a marriage of Dutch aesthetic and healthy living. This healthy house, located on the banks of the Gatineau River, is on the market for $1.25 million. Photo: Chris LaLonde

Now, Kloosterman lives in the fruit of his labour on 24 Lupins Rd. in Chelsea. His professor told him the house was the foremost healthy home in Canada. He aced his thesis.

"I'd done so many houses already by that time but never really thinking about what went into a house, why people were getting ill, et cetera," said Kloosterman. "It's quiet, it's clean, and the quietness is all part of being healthy... It's almost Zenlike. It's got a really wonderful feel to it."

Kloosterman's house was constructed without any plastics; there's no toxic glue or paint, no damaging insulating materials, nothing that might give off even the slightest hint of toxic fumes. A healthy house is one with clean air circulating through it, said Kloosterman. After all, we do tend to spend a lot of time in our own houses, so the air we breathe while sitting in our living rooms or sleeping in our bedrooms should be as clean as possible. You don't want your foyer to smell like a Canadian Tire when you walk through the front door.

Houses of the Gatineau Hills

"Because we make our houses airtight, we basically live in a plastic bag. It's sealed," said Kloosterman. "What we need to do is to eliminate a lot of these toxic materials in order to make it healthy."

Houses of the Gatineau Hills

As always in architecture, form follows function, said Kloosterman, and in this case, form follows it beautifully. He said the three-bedroom, twoand-a-half-bathroom house is split into two basic sections: the mechanical cube and the sanctuary cube. The mechanical side contains the bathrooms, the kitchen, and other nuts-andbolts areas that serve practical functions. The sanctuary side is reserved for the living room and bedrooms. The house is divided by a staircase encased with windows, and windows feature heavily throughout the building.

Houses of the Gatineau Hills
Photo: Mary Fahey.

The Gatineau River winds through the hills to meet the waterfront property. It's a million dollar view - and it's on the market for $1.25 million.

Even though Kloosterman's been living in the house since its completion in 2004, he wouldn't mind moving out to make space for new owners.

"It's so peaceful, I feel good in it... It's a very comfortable, healthy house to live in," he said. "Perhaps someone else could be happy here."

For more information on the property, visit the listing at kwdistinction.com or contact realtor Nicolas Rainville at nicolas.rainville@kw.com.

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