At the base of the Kicking Horse ski resort in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, this residence is a gathering place for an active family. They imagined a place that would accommodate groups of extended family and friends and provide a connection to the landscape for year round recreation.
The sloping site is next to a ski trail and surrounded by a forest of aspen and spruce. The house is arranged to screen neighboring homes while creating a sense of openness and transparency.
There are two elements linked by a glass volume with the main entrance at the lower level and an upper landing for ski access. A dramatic angular box with a glass wall facing the extraordinary mountains to the west contains living and dining. Anchored by a tall, board-formed concrete fireplace, it floats above the forest floor, allowing natural drainage to move through the site. Douglas fir plywood walls and ceiling planes extend to the exterior, framing alpine views and sheltering an outdoor deck.
The northern linear structure houses the kitchen, two levels of sleeping and bathing spaces, and a primary hallway; it cantilevers over a board-formed concrete base containing the garage, playroom, and mudroom. Above the kitchen, bathrooms, and two bedrooms are sleeping lofts under a pitched roof. At its highest point the metal roof bends down to become a wall of shutters that brings light and air into the lofts. Slender steel columns run the full length of the hallway that leads to an outdoor hot tub.
The exterior is clad in a combination of black-stained and clear cedar siding and brightly colored cement panels. The exposed steel-and-wood structure expresses the tectonic qualities of a mountain cabin.
Evocative shapes and spaces with a breadth of ease and accommodation distinguish this lively retreat.
- HR Pacific