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
New Brunswick, Canada
Design: Julie Snow Architects, Inc.
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.
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.
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.
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 New Brunswick images / information from Julie Snow Architects, Inc.
Location:Bay of Fundy
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Another North American house by Julie Snow Architects:
Lake Superior Residence
The weekend house is reduced to a few essential elements. The main house and a small studio are arranged on a black platform that rests just above the ground. The two black volumes frame the water of Lake Superior as it extends toward the distant horizon.
Julie Snow Architects, Inc. are based in Minneapolis