A Folded Steel Roof Shields a Fortress-Like Abode in Nova Scotia

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By Lucy Wang
Protected from the harsh coastal climate, Treow Brycg boasts stunning seaside views without compromising privacy.

Having previously lived in the hurricane-prone tropics, the couple who tapped Canadian practice Omar Gandhi Architect for their new home in Kingsburg, Nova Scotia, didn’t only want a house weatherproofed against the region’s harsh coastal climate—the residence had to also evoke strong feelings of safety and protection.

In response, the architects crafted a fortress-inspired dwelling that rises like a dark rock outcropping in the open grassy landscape, providing a striking contrast to Nova Scotia’s traditional stick-built homes.

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Located on the southern shore of Nova Scotia in Kingsburg, Treow Brycg is set in wild landscape of rocks, the sea, and tall grasses.

Located on the southern shore of Nova Scotia in Kingsburg, Treow Brycg is set in wild landscape of rocks, the sea, and tall grasses.

"Leaning forward with a canted back shell inspired by local gambrel-rooved barns, the residence braces itself for the unpredictable Nova Scotian weather," explain the architects, who have cladded the building in extra-dark bronze standing-seam metal, concrete panels, and black-painted timber.

Extra-dark bronze standing-seam metal partly clads the home and creates an armored appearance.

Extra-dark bronze standing-seam metal partly clads the home and creates an armored appearance.

"The dark silhouette of the fortress-like structure [is] one of few things seen through the thick fog," add the architects.

"The dark silhouette of the fortress-like structure [is] one of few things seen through the thick fog," add the architects.

A strong connection with nature was also a high priority, a fact made clear in the client’s choice of a property located at the highest point of the crescent-shaped beach. 

The deck projects out toward the beach.

The deck projects out toward the beach.

Fronted with continuous bands of glass across the north facade, the unique home—named Treow Brycg, which translates to "tree bridge"—takes full advantage of its panoramic beach and ocean views.

A view of a gravel walkway and the entrance that leads to a covered pathway. "The entry side is hyper minimal and mysterious with slight glimpses out from within, providing only a tease on approach from the road," says the firm.

A view of a gravel walkway and the entrance that leads to a covered pathway. "The entry side is hyper minimal and mysterious with slight glimpses out from within, providing only a tease on approach from the road," says the firm.

Located along the heavy steel back wall, the entry pathway is one of the home's several interstitial spaces designed to reinforce connection with nature. The soffit and wall siding are maibec wood.

Located along the heavy steel back wall, the entry pathway is one of the home's several interstitial spaces designed to reinforce connection with nature. The soffit and wall siding are maibec wood.

Spanning two floors, the two-bedroom residence allocates the primary living and sleeping areas to the upper floor, where the best views of the sea are enjoyed. The spacious master bedroom ensuite is located on the east side of this main floor and connects to the centrally located kitchen, dining area and living room. From there, a bridge leads to the west end of the home where an exterior deck and studio "getaway" space are also situated. 

The master bedroom overlooks views of the water and beach through continuous glazing.

The master bedroom overlooks views of the water and beach through continuous glazing.

The ground floor houses a guest bedroom, garage, utility and storage rooms, as well as a covered terrace linked to a plunge pool. 

Connected to the plunge pool, this ground-level terrace with a fireplace is perfectly positioned for beach views.

Connected to the plunge pool, this ground-level terrace with a fireplace is perfectly positioned for beach views.

Although the village of Kingsburg is most popularly visited as a summer destination, the clients wanted the home to offer comfort and connection with the outdoors year-round. Consequently, the architects carved out a series interstitial and covered areas that could be enjoyed even in times of inclement weather.

A glimpse of the entrance at dusk from the south elevation. To the right is a swimming pool shielded behind wooden fencing.

A glimpse of the entrance at dusk from the south elevation. To the right is a swimming pool shielded behind wooden fencing.

Here is a view of the internal breezeway seen from the entry atrium on the side of the guest bedroom to the garage.

Here is a view of the internal breezeway seen from the entry atrium on the side of the guest bedroom to the garage.

The staircase features walnut treads and black steel railings.

The staircase features walnut treads and black steel railings.

The kitchen is outfitted with Caesarstone counters and is completed with blue-painted walnut plywood cabinets.

The kitchen is outfitted with Caesarstone counters and is completed with blue-painted walnut plywood cabinets.

Walnut flooring has been used throughout the light-filled home. Here, a bridge connects the living spaces to the exterior deck and staircase.

Walnut flooring has been used throughout the light-filled home. Here, a bridge connects the living spaces to the exterior deck and staircase.

A south-facing view of the exterior deck on the second floor that links the living spaces with the studio.

A south-facing view of the exterior deck on the second floor that links the living spaces with the studio.

In contrast to its heavily glazed north facade, the home's other three sides are closed off from view for privacy.

In contrast to its heavily glazed north facade, the home's other three sides are closed off from view for privacy.

"Both the deep-set windows and the brise soleil, in addition to the back canted wall, help to control solar gain."

"Both the deep-set windows and the brise soleil, in addition to the back canted wall, help to control solar gain."

Treow Brycg ground-level floor plan

Treow Brycg ground-level floor plan

Treow Brycg main-level floor plan

Treow Brycg main-level floor plan

Treow Brycg cross section

Treow Brycg cross section

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: Omar Gandhi Architects / @og_architect

Builder/ General Contractor: MRB Contracting
Structural Engineer: Andrea Doncaster Engineering

Interior Design: Attica Home Furnishings