Koehler House: New Brunswick Residence, Bay of Fundy Home

Koehler House, New Brunswick Residence, Bay of Fundy Home

Koehler House, New Brunswick, Canada : Residence

Contemporary New Brunswick House – design by Julie Snow Architects

24 May 2011

Koehler House

New Brunswick, Canada

Design: Julie Snow Architects, Inc.

Project Summary

We visited this rugged, remote, stunningly beautiful site on New Brunswick’s Bay of Fundy with the client in the early spring and immediately identified a rocky finger of land sloping east and south toward the bay as the building site. With the wind blowing out of the west, the rocky slope protected us as we discussed the house, and standing on the ridge above permitted extraordinary views. Grounded on exposed granite, partially covered with a thin but dense mat of plant material, the site faces an uninterrupted ocean horizon.

New Brunswick House Bay of Fundy Home New Brunswick Residence Bay of Fundy Residence
pictures : Brian Vanden Brink

A small building in a large landscape, the house affords expansive views while offering protection from the occasionally harsh climate. Two bars of living space cantilever from the rocky site, anchored by a stone wall. Construction provides the thinnest possible membrane between the interior and the majestic, sometimes threatening, seascape. Large sliding glass panels are detailed with a minimal visible section, as are floor and roof. To resist the caustic marine environment, the exterior envelope is composed of glass, stone, stainless steel, and wood. In high winds, stiffened floor plates resist lateral loads. The structural design minimizes disturbance of the site.

New Brunswick House New Brunswick House
pictures : Steven Dunwell

Designed to remove the owners from their hectic schedules, the house intentionally slows the rituals of everyday life, allowing the presence of landscape to permeate every activity. We did not design for efficiency, but for varied ways of connecting activity to place.

New Brunswick House New Brunswick House New Brunswick House
pictures : Brian Vanden Brink

Two low, parallel cabinets contain the minimum required for preparing simple meals while allowing unimpeded exposure to the vast landscape. The enclosed stair rises toward the Bay to frame an expanse of the ocean horizon. Both subtle and sudden changes in light, wind, and water modify every experience within the house.

Koehler House plan Koehler House section
image : Julie Snow Architects

Koehler House New Brunswick images / information from Julie Snow Architects, Inc.


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photo : Peter Kerze

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Julie Snow Architects, Inc. are based in Minneapolis

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New Brunswick House

Website: Canada