A stunning home overlooking British Columbia’s Soo Valley, SoLo represents an experiment in how to create environmentally sensitive single-family homes that are also strikingly beautiful. Crafted from warm Douglas fir, the mass timber prefab building even makes solar panels look great: A shimmering array of them lines the linear house’s facade. Inside, floor-to-ceiling windows and a wood-on-wood palette provide a cottagey feel. But this is more than a cabin in the woods — it’s residential architecture at its finest.
Team Derek Newby and Alysia Baldwin with Aik Ablimit, Cillian Collins, Susan Gushe, Joshua Rudd and Adrian Watson
This home’s humble size and material makeup belie its marvelousness. Located in the northern Japanese town of Minoh, Osaka Prefecture, with a view of majestic Mount Aogai, the 87-square-metre house was designed on a tight budget with the aim of ushering in as much of the natural panorama as possible. To that end, its master stroke is a dramatic overhanging roof: Made of corrugated metal, lined in timber and integrating a massive polycarbonate skylight, it brings in the blue sky and lush vista while also creating an intimate in-between zone under its eaves.
This one architectural gesture establishes the building’s style based on an honest use of materials and a balance between opacity and transparency. Inside the one-storey home, which is divided by slender wooden beams, a number of nested rectilinear volumes, white-washed or clad in plywood, contain the kitchen, bath and other functions. Modern and solid, the structures make a wonderful contrast against the classic, airy envelope.(more…)