Photo © Matthew Millman

Kicking Horse Residence

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Golden, British Columbia

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson creates a flexible vacation house by separating public and private areas into discrete structures.

By Suzanne Stephens

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In designing a house for a family of five at the Kicking Horse ski resort in Golden, British Columbia, architect Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (BCJ) wanted to make the most of views while preserving privacy on a tight site. The 1-acre property sits on a loop road near a ski trail in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, bordered by houses on either side. The best vistas were from the front, looking east, and at the back, looking out to the slopes.

The architects split the 3,500-square-foot house into two volumes: one, a long, three-level bar-shaped building for sleeping and cooking, plus lower-level storage and parking; the other, a smaller polygon for the living and dining room. A glazed link between the two structures provides skiers with direct entry to the boot room one level below. The clearly articulated division of spaces is not only efficient but can comfortably accommodate over a dozen guests (with the help of bunk beds), says BCJ principal in charge Ray Calabro.

The smaller volume for the living/dining room floats over the forest floor, supported by steel beams anchored to the poured-in-place concrete fireplace and to the north stair. Its roof lifts up to the west to capture views of spruce and aspen trees, while a deep overhang acts as a visor to shield the interior from the sun. The adjoining bar-like building has steel columns supporting an 88-foot-long timber roof pitched at a 40-degree angle to the south. It dramatically cantilevers at the east and west ends, beyond a poured concrete base.

Besides using painted steel for the folded roof, the architects sheathed exterior walls in black-stained and natural red cedar, punctuated by red and white fiber cement board panels. The combination of these materials on the exterior, along with interior surfaces of Douglas fir plywood, create an unexpectedly cozy cabin rendered as a modernist ski chalet.

Completion Date: November 2011

Gross Square Footage: 3,500 square feet

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
1932 First Avenue
Suite 916, Seattle
WA 98101
t. 206-256-0862
f. 206-256-0864

December 2013
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