8 October 2007

D'Arcy Jones Design INC - Island House

D'Arcy Jones Design INC
Island House

Canadian based architect D'Arcy Jones has created a wonderful summer retreat here. The house sits low and wide on the land hidden by fur trees and long grass from the water's edge. Horizontal slats and panelling on the house accentuate this width and and divide the immediate surroundings into private courtyards. These slats are laid flat to form benches and stair with floating treads throughout the garden. The rough concrete interior is warmed up by Douglas Fir and open fireplaces.

The covered walkways, large overhands, and separated living and sleeping areas seem to be an inverted/extroverted version of a Japanese courtyard house. Certainly the finishings, pillar endings, rafters and chain link downpipes have that Japanese feel.
Designed for an elderly couple and visiting young relatives there's a separate sleeping wing for guests to the left of the plan. The centre block contains the open plan living, dining and kitchen, with the master wing ahead, closer to the waters edge and far enough away from the guests wing.

I'm sure that the overhangs and breeze ways will prove handy in summer, and the large expanse of glass towards the ocean, will help warm the concrete slabs in winter. I'm also partial to the fact that everything is at ground level, once again allowing you to walk straight out to the beach.





































From their site:

Vancouver Island BC
2000-2003
3100 SQ FT

This project was designed as a vacation house for an extended family. Three concrete and glass pavilions are linked with a large heavy-timber roof, connecting the volumes with a breeze way and 6'-0" deep overhangs. The elevation of the house facing the ocean is a continuous wall of full height glass doors, high on a steep bank above the beach. Nestled between a damp forest and a tangle of blackberry-bushes, the house was conceived as a single-level vacation and retirement house, appropriate for ageing clients and their young extended family. The requirement for an extremely robust, durable and quiet house resulted in thick in-situ concrete walls, intentionally left rough and crude. Hovering above, the simple Douglas Fir roof structure was left raw. In-fill materials squeezed between the concrete and timber were chosen for longevity: bleached red cedar, polished concrete, hand-made porcelain tile and smooth Douglas Fir millwork result in a rugged, unpretentious family house.

The modest materials are countered with a range of carefully sculpted spaces, inside and out. All designed outdoor spaces are clearly defined with wall or ground plane articulation on at least two sides. The morning deck is aimed to catch morning sun for reading and yoga, the two-level western terrace is for afternoon tanning or watching sunsets beside an open fire. These outdoor spaces are furnished with native plantings and large earth berms. Within a very hot and dry micro climate, the house's mass, deep overhangs and carefully designed passive ventilation keep the house cool.

The house has a heavy and quiet presence, it's porous edges abutting the surrounding vegetation. Though still quite new, the house is at ease in its setting; its roughness has the appeal of a well-used home with years of patina.

via: D'Arcy Jones Design INC

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