Project: Vertes Retreat
Architects: W O V E N Architecture and Design
Location: Sakinaw Lake, Canada
Area: 380 m2
Photo credits: silentSama architectural photography, Dolf Vermuelen Creative
Text by W O V E N Architecture and Design
Vertes Retreat is a vacation home for a family of four located on the Sunshine Coast in BC Canada. The home is perched 30′ above a pristine lake in the form of an L shape plan that hugs the existing rocky landscape.
Flat roofs hover above two wings of the home, providing large overhangs and covered outdoor spaces. A spacious one-story wing contains the Great Room, while a two-story wing contains the Entry, Media Room, Garage, and Bedrooms above. Skylights extend the entire length of the circulation paths at both wings of the home, flooding these areas with much-needed natural light during the long rainy winters of the Pacific Northwest.
Large glass openings throughout the home frame stunning lake views as well as the rocky landscape behind in carefully select locations. A minimal exterior material palette consisting of cedar siding and cedar soffits provides warmth and texture and relates the building to the surrounding cedar forest.
Inside the home, concrete floors, white cabinetry, and wood ceilings provide a clean backdrop for the users to layer their lives on top. With floor-to-ceiling glass doors, level transitions, and materials that extend from the interior to the exterior, the boundary between inside and outside is dissolved, enhancing the experience of living in nature.
The heart of the home is the living room fireplace where a wood-burning fireplace provides heat and ambiance with large steel panels extending from the fireplace opening to the skylight above. The Living Room transitions to a covered outdoor space where the interior skylight continues to the exterior.
This space provides the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and curl up around the fire pit while staying dry. In addition, an Outdoor Kitchen and Dining area further support the concept of living in nature. As the name suggests, the home is an ideal place to play and rest during essential escapes from hectic urban life.