91.0

2018 / Steel, Cedar, Glass

91 is a house on a forested waterfront lot in the Gulf Island archipelago of the Canadian Pacific Northwest.

The house is a suspended bridge between two naturally occurring rocky ridges, spanning over a sunken fern gully.  The experience of entry begins as a path through the forest, with a discreet entrance into the house volume set into the earth.  From there, as the visitor traverses the length of the house, the experience changes dramatically to that of being suspended high within the tree canopy and ends with arrival on solid ground again, but this time on the west facing beach, with the strong presence of the pacific ocean.

The plan is organized in two bands of program, with the intention of allowing the house to expand and contract depending on the number of inhabitants.  The main wing is designed for the owners (a couple): kitchen, living room, utility spaces and suspended bedroom.  A second wing, which can be opened or closed selectively for family or guests, provides two additional bedrooms and a bunk room.

The house is clad in heavy cedar blocks which receive an aggressive sandblasted finish, accentuating the grain of the wood and giving it an almost geological quality.

It is anticipated that over the next 100 years, rising sea levels due to climate change will flood the fern gully, giving the project an entirely different reading and character.

Date: 2018 – present
Gross floor area: 3,200 ft2 | 300 m2
Client: Couple
Designer: Omer Arbel Office
Contractor: Brad Martin of Treeline Construction
Structural: Toby Fast of Fast + Epp Structural Engineers
Geotechnical: Matt Kokan of Geopacific Consultants

Project Leader: Mark Dennis
Project Team: Omer Arbel, Mark Dennis, Kevin Isherwood, Jaedan Leimert, Tyler Wied
Model Team: Christa Clay, Steve Fassezke, Kevin Isherwood, Jaedan Leimert, Jay MacDonnell, Glenn Muxlow, Jason Murphy, Thomas Nichini, Jess Sarber, Deagan McDonald, Johann Tarves