Living in the Landscape
The client was interested in a tripartite scheme that would blur the interior and exterior spatial boundaries. Visitors arrive in a large exterior foyer that caries their view across the waterway to the island beyond while terracing down with the natural slope of the land to the entertainment patio facing the island. Situated looking southeast toward an uninhabited island and salty estuary that is also part of the property, this view organized the configuration of living spaces in the home.
The trilogy of domestic dwelling for late live adults – family, couple, guest – offers the opportunity to cluster these modes of living within an amazing harvested meadow that looks east across an estuary of Lunenburg Bay to its private island in Nova Scotia, Canada. Separate, yet connected living, allows the seasonal home to expand and contract in terms of physical and resource use while also providing spatial gathering areas and complimentary private spaces. The view of course is across the estuary to the private island. The home is terraced both rising up and dropping down in relation to the natural contours of the site.
This strategy preferences the views from each of the three structures as both individual and collective while the interior terracing allows views from multiple rooms. The proposal offers a low profile to the harsh winter winds along with high privacy from the rural access road. The windows are gathered toward the views with high insulation walls at other locations as a highly effective strategy in terms of reducing energy use without sacrificing connectivity to the natural site amenities. The low slope and simple form of the roof is specifically designed to hold snow as an insulating material during the winter months.
The windows will also be insulated during the winter as the home is primarily occupied in the summer months. During cool summers, morning sunlight will enter from the east warming the spaces and ‘stack effect’ and cross ventilation strategies ensure that overheating will not occur during the summer.
The inside spaces of the home terrace with the land while also expanding upward allowing the view to celebrate the juncture of land and sky along the distant horizon of pine forest and waterways. The long-slope roofs act formally like rocky outcroppings in the day and at the night light from within appears as three large lanterns in the dusky night of this northern latitude.