BattersbyHowat Architects Inc designs a quiet home tucked away in the woods of Gambier Island, British Columbia, Canada. The architects describe it as an off-grid vacation home fulfills the family’s desire for rustic, natural solitude.
Project description from the Architects:
The northern view is an expansive vista of Howe Sound and nearby Coastal mountain range, but the house avoids the usual unidirectional focus of most vacation homes also having a south-facing courtyard, which draws light into the core of the house and creates focus on the small details of nature. The hooded exterior spaces, which are warm and bright, frame the views for the interior space, providing unobstructed sightlines of the ocean while screening out neighbouring dwellings. Outside, a large mossy outcrop, a roch face that rises 50 feet from the water, inspired the project’s plan and courtyard configuration. Inside, the topography of the house follows the site’s contours, and is designed so that the main view is visible through the courtyard, even from rooms at the back of the structure.
The house further integrates into the site through its materials. Local fir, cedar, and hemlock as well as aluminum are sustainable, as were all of the building practices such as recessed foundations, prefabrication, rain water collection, solar and generator power, and indigenous replanting. The site was reseeded with a specially developed seed mixture used on all of our island sites.
The exterior’s bark-like cladding created with bevelled cedar siding, stained near black, and installed with various exposures to disrupt its conventional regularity, renders the house a warm silhouette in the forest.