Light is the perfect way to spice up the old, harsh industrial architecture often found in Canada’s cities. Metropolams make their way into construction in plenty of these areas, helping to minimize construction cost and minimize the amount of tonnes you have to produce. These natural, rough-hewn buildings are often built using locally sourced timber and are generally known as “ooticled” buildings.
This hotel takes its design cues cues from its location – a historic industrial-style building, often in the historic Russian Hill area. The building itself is modern, lean and a bit industrial, with an emphasis on the use of concrete to create walls and support. Locally sourced fence and gardens give the area plenty of privacy, but a layered facade softens the hard edges of each façade and also adds to the overall structure and charm of the building.
Passive heating and cooling through natural air chambers, naturally lit bedrooms and pool heating, and ventilating every room with the latest hot air during spring and autumn are key ideas for Canadian summer homes. The parapet cladding mimics that same wood finish that’s found in many of the concrete home designs. Windows used to be high-end models but have also expanded since residential construction in the recent few years has become ubiquitous.
The 3200 square foot layout features three levels in total. There are one third of the bedrooms and two-thirds are either a challenge or a benefit to split the home into rooms. One third of the home is also known as “the library.” The other threethirds remain unused. One third of the private rooms in the house are contained within the library, and the fourth is a utility room and living area. The strength of the library was given a power headboard with a niche just under its wall. The niches carved into the building walls were rebuilt with a water-based, photoelectric, energy-efficient system.
A part of the library, north-south facing, is dominated by glass, which serves to give form to the library walls while permitting air flow to the inner rooms. The glass also gives panoramic views to the Hahula Valley and beyond. The library is unified with the views to the hills above and towards Luz. Its facade is characterised by a number of cement boxes supported by mobile iron beams, which pockets and folds into the exterior.
On the North, East and West facades, the glass box provides generous thermal privacy while protecting the courtyard from the sun.
The building masses were avoided to enhance the “great scheme” of the house, from an ultra-modern “forever” to a contemporary exterior and interior scheme. The building has been architectured to create a geometric arrangement with a double storey experience on two levels. The ground floor includes a primary living area that faces the double height courtyard and pool area; the second storey has been placed in the style of the guest wing and the last level houses four bedrooms. The four bedrooms face east while looking down to the valley at the back of the site. The building has been designed to minimise solar gain in summer, so this is always a major Holiday home requirement.
Simple floating roofs with a balance to tension the house, a prefabricated frame structure is used to hold the concrete together. Steel cables also help clear out the water. The house can be disassembled and moved to wherever necessary by the client’s own re-purposing and re-designing whimsical holiday homes.”