Circumnavigating British Columbia’s Southern Gulf Islands by kayak and bicycle, the Client spent years searching for the ideal site for his contemporary home. When he found it, the reason wasn’t difficult to fathom. It’s a quiet site, connected to nature – pods of orcas are daily commuters and an expansive view overlooks the San Juan Islands and mountainous Olympic Peninsula.

Project Essentials

  • LocationGulf Islands Region, BC
  • ArchitectGates Suter Architects

Perched atop sandstone cliffs on a gently-sloping site, this minimalist one-storey home exemplifies the thoughtful integration of architecture and engineering on an intimate scale. An open plan design was crucial for entertaining and showcasing an art collection, requiring Fast + Epp’s sensitive integration of structure to eliminate columns and other barriers.

The design features entirely unobstructed southern glazing, along with a shallow cantilever. The lines between home and view are blurred, through cleverly running the glass past the floor and ceiling plane with reveals that conceal the top and bottom mullions. Meanwhile, columns along the east and west edges help define the limits of the house, however, the two closest to the water extend beyond the constructed ground plane into the cliffs below.