A house that’s an oasis of peace where you feel the tranquility and atmosphere of the surrounding beach, sea, and sand
The calm, sense of tranquility, and delicate colors of Cadboro Bay have formed a building block for a home intended to be experienced as an integral part of nature. From these initial elements, this private home, designed by BoForm architecture studio and Falken Reynolds Interiors, took shape – a home that, in some ways comparable to a modern and luxurious bungalow, overlooks nature on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, Canada. The home is a fusion of nature and architecture that, flowing from the most intimate, personal sensations and though the tastes of its residents, arrived at the architects’ pencil.
This is the backstory to how this over 5400 sq.ft. (500 m2) house on two levels came into being. The client was a family who loves the outdoors, and their personalities are reflected in the location of the home, its plan, and the choice of materials. But the house also reflects a country, a local tradition, and artisan skills. Working from shared values and an appreciation of art, elegance and understated, minimalist interiors, a strong synergy was established between the client, architects, and interior designers. The result is a home with marked spatial and visual continuity, made possible by large open spaces connected to the outside by windows with almost imperceptible frames. The eye naturally goes from inside to out, guided by the horizontality of the continuous ceilings and by furnishing elements specifically designed to achieve that effect. An example is the fireplace in the living area, whose horizontal design balances with the motion of the surface finishes and furnishings, leading to the exterior. Each room is designed to provide the best view of the bay, which therefore becomes a part of them, while also being reflected in shades of blue, light blue, green, and brown.
On two levels with each defined externally by different finishes, the design of the home posed a challenge in terms of balance: with the minimalist approach taken, the large spaces could easily have felt empty. The solution was found balancing the essential lines, details, and artworks. With the presence of collectible works that encapsulate local traditions and include a number of pieces from the Canadian modernist tradition, the home can also be seen as a small art gallery.
Colors then had a role to play in creating warm, comfortable spaces. The underlying idea was to bring the colors of the beach and bay inside the home, while creating a balance between them and the tones of the artworks, furnishings, and coverings, which, in most cases, are neutral. Some exceptions to the white of the walls, the light quartz tones, the Corian surfaces of the kitchen, the concrete floors and staircase, and the browns of the timbers used (oak, hemlock, and cedar) are the Verde Alpi marble in the main bathroom and the grays and blues of the light fitting over the dining table.
Together with the kitchen with its island counter surmounted by a custom-made steel lamp, the lounge-dining area is one of the parts of the home that best define it, open on one side to the sea and, on the other, to the patio and barbeque. But there’s another equally significant area, namely the reading nook in the master bedroom, which is surrounded by windows. The warmth of this space is created by oak and linen, which, just like the other rooms in the house, reflect a philosophy of sustainability, with the materials locally sourced to reduce transport costs and emissions.
The dialogue between warmth and color is inseparable from their relationship with natural light, which, thanks to the windows and circular skylight in the entrance, makes the interiors of the home shimmer as the intensity of the sun’s rays change. There’s always a feeling of being outside, even in winter, despite being in the warmth of the home.
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Architects: BoForm Architecture
Interior Design: Falken Raynolds
Area: 500 m2
General Contractor: Point Break Developments, Billy Thistle
Landscape Design: Demitasse Garden Design
Photography by Ema Peter Photography, courtesy of Falken Reynolds