The Salt Spring Residence is a single-family home overlooking the water on the island of Salt Spring in Canada. Previous clients approached us after purchasing the property, which had on it a small, dark cabin that failed to acknowledge the site’s attributes. We decided that the new house needed to be located on another part of the property to take advantage of what this site had to offer.
The design solution is a simple three-story rectangle with an elevated deck jutting out toward the water. The 4,500 sf house sits unobtrusively on the site and blends with its surroundings in a location that celebrates the view, the relationship to the trees, and the steep descent of the hillside to the water below.
The exterior material is a dark corrugated metal siding. The dark charcoal color was influenced by the dark shadows of the wooded site and helps the building to visually merge with the surrounding landscape. The siding is not only resilient to the salt air but is economical as well. The roof is a dark charcoal standing seam panel and the windows are black anodized aluminum. In contrast to the dark exterior, interior walls are clad with a light colored, knotty pine offering warmth and light once inside.
The residence also includes a 1,400 sf two-story detached garage/workshop along with a garden shed. These two structures define the entrance to the residence, while providing a transition from public to private space. By dividing the program among three buildings, strategically located in relation to the site and to one another, the residence creates diverse ways of engaging with the landscape. Carefully-placed windows, pathways, and outdoor spaces reinforce this ambition, encouraging interaction with the site and its unique qualities.