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A dramatic house for an equally dramatic landscape, this chalet is clad in rough white-cedar planks to complement its surroundings – a realm of deep gorges and scraggly birch trees. The steeply pitched roof is built to withstand gales of up to 200 kilometres per hour, and there’s a massive Corten steel frame around the entrance to prevent wind from ripping open the door.

Architect Omar Gandhi, working with New York’s Design Base 8, conceived the building to be both durable and cozy; a top floor includes a fireside observatory with views of the rocky Cape Breton Highlands and rolling Northumberland Strait.

Project: Rabbit Snare Gorge

Location: Cape Breton, Canada

Firms: Omar Gandhi Architect (Canada) and Design Base 8 (U.S.)

Team: Omar Gandhi, Garrett Helm, Jon Siani and Jon Wilson with Peter Braithwaite, Peter Kolodziej, Elizabeth Powell, Maxwell Schnutgen and Jeff Shaw

People’s Choice: Single-Family Houses
Rabbit Snare Gorge
The 2017 AZ Awards jury had plenty of praise for these five residences, by Omar Gandhi, People’s Architecture Office and other leading architects.

Explore more Award Winners

2020
Award of MeritSingle-Family Houses
Location
Victoria, Canada
Firm
D’Arcy Jones Architects, Canada
2018
Winner + People’s ChoiceSingle-Family Houses
Location
Buffalo, New York, USA
Firm
Davidson Rafailidis, Buffalo, New York, USA
2013
People’s ChoiceSingle-Family Houses
Location
Brittany, France
Firm
Lode Architecture, Paris
Team
Arnaud Lacoste and Jérôme Vinçon, with Guillaume Choplain, Hélène Gasnier and Stéphane Saltzmann