Designed by MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects, this striking building, jutting off the edge of a cliff, is the recipient of several esteemed architectural awards.
Located on a huge 455 acre estate in Nova Scotia’s Atlantic Coast, the house is an “artificial focal point in the natural world”. In some of the pictures the juxtaposition of the contemporary house and the natural surroundings appears almost otherworldly.
While the house may look large from the outside, the actual usable floor space is less than 1000 square foot. A lot of the internal volume is simply void, allowing the relatively small living room, kitchen and dining area to feel much more expansive than it actually is.
Approximately half of the building is extended out over the cliff-edge, and according to the architects the aim was to “heighten one’s experience of the landscape through a sense of vertigo and a sense of floating on the sea.” The structure is supported by a simple steel frame, braced by both cross-bracing, and the timber framing and sheathing.
The designers have taken advantage of the northern and westerly views by introducing story-height windows, creating a panorama of the untouched landscape. The building aims to blend in with the environment, but there are more “human elements” apparent from both the interior and exterior of the house, such as the wood-burning stove and it’s flu, helping to make the house a home.
The interior of the house is clad in timber and relatively warm in appearance compared to the rather stark exterior. On the ground floor you’ll find a living room, bathroom, kitchen and dining area. The upper section of the house contains a 16-foot-square bedroom with storage.
Similar small houses include the Fiscavaig House, a small house set among the backdrop of the Isle of Skye, Scotland. Or the Hood Canal Boathouse, a weekend retreat in an idyllic location. See all small houses.
Photos: MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects