Diamond Schmitt Architects doesn’t design many private residences – we have about a dozen in our portfolio, exceptional properties in Mustique, Switzerland, the US and Canada, both in urban centres and rural settings. I’d like to share with Dwell this first look at our latest design.

St. Andrews is a quiet and historic Maritime town located on Canada’s east coast. This waterfront property has been in a family for several generations and faces the Bay of Fundy, providing a ringside seat to the daily spectacle of the highest tidal change in the world.

The compound includes the original residence, a swimming pool and guesthouse. To make way for the next generation, they decided to demolish the guesthouse and construct a new edifice to meet their living needs.

The new house takes the form of a thin rectilinear building type situated parallel to the shoreline and oriented in an east-west direction taking full advantage of the view. The site slopes gradually in section from the local road down to a gabion timber retaining wall at the water’s edge to protect against exceptional tides. Raised above grade, the ground level provides an open floor plan accommodating the public portions of the program divided only by a central stair. Adjacent to the kitchen is a screened porch, which serves as transitional space as well as a protected exterior room. From here, one can access a wood deck that gradually transitions to grade.

The design is informed by the local Maritime vernacular. In adopting a simple pitched roof profile and taut silhouette, an almost anonymous architecture is created. The cedar shake cladding, stone base and standing seam aluminum roof all allude to and complement the original house, creating a cohesive and framed compound.

Primarily a summer residence, it has a passive system to address the southern exposure and help cool the house during the warm summer months. Strategies include cross ventilation, sun shading devices and air circulation. A combination of full height lift-and-slide windows coupled with insect screens, the use of ceiling fans, sliding exterior louvers for the upper level and motorized awnings are incorporated into the design.

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Modern home with Exterior, Wood Siding Material, Stone Siding Material, Gable RoofLine, Metal Roof Material, and House Building Type. View from tidal flats Photo  of Bay of Fundy houseView Photos

View from tidal flats

Modern home with Kitchen, Medium Hardwood Floor, Range, Range Hood, Porcelain Tile Backsplashe, Dishwasher, Wood Cabinet, Cooktops, Ceiling Lighting, Undermount Sink, and Refrigerator. Open plan ground floor Photo 2 of Bay of Fundy houseView Photos

Open plan ground floor

Modern home with Kitchen, Medium Hardwood Floor, Dishwasher, Quartzite Counter, Cooktops, Range, Wood Cabinet, Undermount Sink, Porcelain Tile Backsplashe, Refrigerator, Ceiling Lighting, and Range Hood. View from kitchen Photo 3 of Bay of Fundy houseView Photos

View from kitchen

Modern home with Living Room, End Tables, Wood Burning Fireplace, Ceiling Lighting, Chair, Medium Hardwood Floor, Bookcase, Sofa, and Ottomans. Living room Photo 4 of Bay of Fundy houseView Photos

Living room

Modern home with Staircase, Wood Railing, Metal Tread, and Wood Tread. Feature stair frame Photo 5 of Bay of Fundy houseView Photos

Feature stair frame

Modern home with Dining Room, Ceiling Lighting, Pendant Lighting, Stools, Table, Medium Hardwood Floor, and Chair. Kitchen dining area Photo 6 of Bay of Fundy houseView Photos

Kitchen dining area

Modern home with Staircase, Metal Tread, Wood Tread, and Wood Railing. Sculptural stair frame Photo 7 of Bay of Fundy houseView Photos

Sculptural stair frame

Modern home with Bedroom, Chair, Bed, Ceiling Lighting, Dresser, Bench, Night Stands, Wardrobe, Table Lighting, Medium Hardwood Floor, and Pendant Lighting. Master bedroom Photo 8 of Bay of Fundy houseView Photos

Master bedroom

Modern home with Bath Room, Undermount Sink, Enclosed Shower, Quartzite Counter, Porcelain Tile Wall, Porcelain Tile Floor, Wall Lighting, One Piece Toilet, and Freestanding Tub. Shower and skylight Photo 9 of Bay of Fundy houseView Photos

Shower and skylight

Modern home with Outdoor, Stone Patio, Porch, Deck, Walkways, Flowers, Shrubs, Trees, Grass, Hardscapes, Side Yard, Large Patio, Porch, Deck, Gardens, Wood Patio, Porch, Deck, Hanging Lighting, and Metal Fences, Wall. Screened porch with fireplace Photo 10 of Bay of Fundy houseView Photos

Screened porch with fireplace

Modern home with Exterior, Metal Roof Material, Stone Siding Material, Gable RoofLine, Wood Siding Material, and House Building Type. North elevation Photo 11 of Bay of Fundy houseView Photos

North elevation

Modern home with Outdoor, Gardens, Flowers, Grass, Hardscapes, Wood Patio, Porch, Deck, Large Patio, Porch, Deck, and Stone Patio, Porch, Deck. Low tide at sunset view Photo 12 of Bay of Fundy houseView Photos

Low tide at sunset view

Modern home with Exterior, Stone Siding Material, House Building Type, Metal Roof Material, Wood Siding Material, and Gable RoofLine. View from across the inlet Photo 13 of Bay of Fundy houseView Photos

View from across the inlet

Credits

Posted By
Architect
  • A.J. Diamond, Diamond Schmitt Architects
  • Zvonimir Cicvaric, Diamond Schmitt Architects
  • Richard Gradon, DFS Inc., Architecture and Design
Interior Design
  • A.J. Diamond
  • Zvonimir Cicvaric
Landscape Design
  • Sparling Landscape Architects
Builder
  • ICR General Contractors Limited
  • Fundy Engineering Limited
  • CTS Engineering Limited
  • Sterling Windows & Doors
Bedrooms
  • 2
  • Full Baths
  • 2
  • Partial Baths
  • 1
  • Structure
  • House (Single Residence)
  • Year
  • 2018
  • Square Feet
  • 3600
  • Lot Size
  • 140ft x 100ft
  • Smart Home Tech
  • Nest