Nova Scotia, Canada – Mackay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects
Completion Year: 2011 Photography: Greg Richardson Water calms and refreshes. It cleanses the soul. A bath at night, a glass of cool water, or even just the sound of the waves all help us breathe out the tension in our lives. This waterfront home creates the illusion of being on a ship, sailing away from the travails of the day. The porches of the two pavilions sit cantilevered above the rocky shoreline and seawall. Like twin hulls of a ship, they “float”, taking the family toward that distant horizon. Construction is a simple steel frame, concrete and lots of warm, local timber, both inside and out Architect’s Notes:
“This project is situated in a glaciated, coastal landscape, with a cool maritime climate. The geomorphology of the site consists of granite bedrock and boulder till, creating pristine white sand beaches, and turquoise waters. The two pavilions float above the shoreline like two ship’s hulls up on cradles for the winter, forming protected outdoor places both between and under them. This is a landscape-viewing instrument; like a pair of binoculars, first looking out to sea. A third transverse ‘eye’ looks down the coastline, and forms a linking entry piece.
This is a steel frame house, with a wood skin. Its white, steel endoskeleton resists both gravity loads and wind uplift. The 32′ cantilevers and concrete fin foundations invite the sea to pass under without damage. The wooden rain screen consists of 8″ vertical, board-on-batten on the two ‘hulls’, while the linking piece is a monolithic block of weathered wood inside and out, clad in 4″ horizontal shiplap. The lantern ends dematerialise by eliminating the 1″ channel joints. The fenestration of the ‘binocular’ ends is minimalist curtain wall with structural silicone. The side elevations contain storefront glazing. The concrete floors contain a geothermally heated hydronic system. This sculptural, yet calm and mature project contains generous white volumes on the interior, and exhibits the ironic monumentality of boats on the exterior.”
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