LASQUITI ISLAND is a small island off the East Coast of Vancouver Island that operates off the grid, and that is home to a mixed culture of intellectuals, artists, and alternate lifestyle enthusiasts, making for a happy blend of both full time and part time residents. My clients were urban-dwelling creatives who wanted to build an all-seasons home for themselves and their young daughter for their frequent and extended visits to the island where they intended to eventually live full-time. They already owned an existing rustic cabin on the stunning piece of property situated on an ocean viewpoint, and hoped to achieve both the teardown and the primary completion of the new construction over the course of a year’s time.
I was brought in to help them finesse the preparatory design, consolidate the space planning and to prepare the visual organization of the project. They had already put considerable thought into the design program including its materiality and functionality:
Two large intersecting cubes– one on end, one on side.
Surfaces with Black metal cladding combined with local cedar planks.
Surfaces punctuated by large, square industrial glazing.
Interior flooring extends out to become exterior deck.
Cube on side comprises Main floor with Open concept Living/Kitchen/Family Room; Daughter’s bedroom, Guest room; Washroom / Cold Room storage
Cube on end comprises Master bedroom/Writing loft/View into Main floor.
Arrangements had been made and a relationship developed with the island’s local builder, who possessed deep knowledge of the prevailing winds, rains, and slopes on Lasquiti, to oversee all aspects of the construction including the outside consultation with a structural engineer regarding the steel support structure. Reflecting the natural abundance of the BC coast, local wood products were used extensively in this project both practically and aesthetically contrasting with with the steel posts, metal cladding and the large metal-framed windows that were brought in from off-island.