Architect: Malcolm Wildeboer
Architect Firm: Vandenberg & Wildeboer Architects Inc.
Location: Ottawa River Valley, Ontario
Project Type: New Construction
The quarter-mile approach winds through a towering stand of century pines to a shoreline that was once the winter campsite of French explorer Samuel de Champlain, some 400 years ago. Today, a tent-like, metal-clad wedge appears, hovering above the forest floor on tiny wooden legs. This 4000-square-foot vacation home on the mighty Ottawa River embraces a comfortable balance between shelter and exposure. Key to its success is the play between an expansive and restrained approach to glazing.
Floor-to-soffit Marvin windows evoke a bold but delicate transparency, like a tent screen. The structure, a rhythm of ten ascending laminated timber bents assembled with mortised knife plates and through bolts gives form to the cleanly pitched frame. A super-insulated, protective metal skin folds over the frame, sheltering the explorer from raging rapids, raw north winds and the looming forest.
Judges' Comments: “This home does a spectacular job of sheltering itself from the elements of the Canadian winters on three sides and opens itself up dramatically to views on the fourth. The well detailed design blends a metal roof and expansive glass with wood and stone that yields a contemporary design at harmony with nature.”