RUFproject have designed the Gulf Islands Residence located in British Columbia, Canada.
A conscious decision was made to root the design of the house in the regional, west coast vernacular pioneered by architects such as Ron Thom and Arthur Erickson, beginning in the 1950s. The style is characterized by post-and beam-construction with exposed timber structural members, extensive glazing, open floor plans, interior-exterior links, wood finishes, flat roofs, orientation to views and a delicate balance with the natural setting. These elements were carefully integrated to define a new and innovative vision of regional architecture. The design of this private residence responds to the clients’ desire for a “modern log cabin” on a precious piece of oceanfront property.
They were torn between two ideals: on the one hand the rustic Canadian log cabin and on the other the modernist glass house. Through the use of expressive structure, expanses of glass, and a minimal material palette, the project took this challenge as its fundamental concept, striving to reconcile the rustic with the modern in form, materiality, and organization. The house has been designed in the form of a bridge, creating a minimal footprint and achieving a high level of environmental performance on the site, while allowing native grasses and flora to grow underneath.
Working with the topography, the house is defined in two parts—a solid stone base sunk into the land, referencing the existing rock outcrops on the site, and a light timber “bridge” resting on the stone. With a tranquil internal courtyard protected from the prevailing southeast winds, the strong horizontals of the heavy timbers reference the horizon, and transparency on the ocean side opens the full house to stunning panoramic views of the sea.
Architecture & Design: RUFproject
General Contractor: H.Hazenboom Construction Ltd.
Structural Engineer: Parallel Consulting Structural Engineers Ltd.
Mechanical Engineer: Jade West Engineering Co. Ltd.
Geotechnical Engineer: Braun Geotechnical Ltd.