Kicking Horse Residence
Golden, British Columbia, Canada
“Modern and rustic – without being too cute. You could walk in and immediately feel comfortable. ”
This weekend gathering place is set in the Canadian Rocky Mountains at the base of the Kicking Horse ski resort in Golden, British Columbia. Designed as the center of activity for a family of five that enjoys year round outdoor recreation, the residence provides a strong connection to its mountain setting, while maintaining privacy from nearby homes. The use of bold forms and richly varied materials allows the home to resonate in its particular place.
The Nature of Place
The site is adjacent to a ski trail and surrounded by a forest of aspen and spruce trees. Located between two neighboring residences, the house is arranged as two volumes: a dense bar containing the sleeping and bath spaces, and an open shell with living and dining spaces oriented toward the mountain peaks. Despite a modest .36 acre lot size, the building footprint was configured to protect a grove of evergreen trees at the south edge of the site and to allow natural drainage patterns to continue through the property. The careful arrangement of program maintains privacy through the thoughtful composition of windows, while enabling a sense of transparency to the views and providing access to the nearby ski and bike trails.
The Nature of People
The clients desired a weekend gathering place for their family of five that would also accommodate larger groups of family and friends and provide a direct connection to the outdoors for seasonal recreation. They appreciated the scale and warmth of traditional mountain lodges but wished to explore the possibility of creating a Modernist cabin more rooted in their Norwegian heritage. The kitchen and breakfast nook are located in the center of the house so that the client, a former restaurant owner, could observe and engage in the activities of the day while preparing meals. Outside each bedroom suite, a series of sliding panels can be closed to define private spaces with direct access to the sleeping lofts above. A requirement for a 5:12 roof slope led to the idea of children’s sleeping lofts above with bunk beds for accommodating friends.
The Nature of Materials
The linear form of the sleeping spaces is clad in black-stained cedar cantilevers over a board-formed concrete base and contains the garage, mudroom, and playroom. The exposed Douglas fir laminated beams and deep roof overhangs express the tectonic qualities of a mountain cabin. The primary entry is located between two concrete walls, with a mahogany and steel stair leading to the living spaces above. A single line of steel columns extends along the main hallway, emphasizing the angle of the bedroom roof plane, which folds over the peak to become an articulated metal wall with operable vents, bringing light and air into the loft spaces. The lofts contain custom maple bunk beds that allow flexible sleeping arrangements for children or guests. Ladders leading to the sleeping lofts contain shelves for display of books and toys.