A Vacation Home in Nova Scotia Takes Cues From the Coastal Landscape

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By Jenny Xie
Designed by Omar Gandhi Architects for Swiss clients as a home base for swimming, fishing, boating, hiking, and other activities, Sluice Point is a true reflection of the local environment.

Sited just above the coastline on the southern tip of Nova Scotia, Sluice Point overlooks marshland, islets, and the Tusket River off the Gulf of Maine. Built as a holiday home for Swiss clients, the residence hugs the landscape, taking the shape of the historic Acadian salt-preserved haystacks spread throughout the region. Architects Omar Gandhi and Jeff Shaw of Omar Gandhi Architects chose natural, raw materials that would both blend into and withstand the environment, such as concrete and local wood cladding.

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The clients requested an open, versatile great room. As a result, the main living space features sliding panels, barn doors, and a rotating fireplace that help the room adapt according to changing needs throughout the day. Clad in local clear spruce and birch millwork, the space seems to have been carved out of wood. A morning deck attached to the master suite affords a private place to have a cup of coffee, while another, covered deck extends from the living room, acting as an entertainment area.

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Sluice Point follows a curve, capturing the views on one side. The shed roof, a nod to Nova Scotia’s local fishing sheds and shanties, is economical and efficient—both the roof and the exterior walls are clad in locally-sourced, eastern white cedar. Small windows break up the facade, and an "entry hoop," a narrow corridor that opens into the great room, marks the center of the house. 

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