The Sliding House Of Upper Kingsburg, Nova Scotia

Source: MLS Architects 

If you were to ask a Canadian to picture an east coast rural village, many of us would envision wood buildings with simple pitched-roofs, clapboard siding, sash windows, and the patina of housing multiple generations.

After all, those are the essential building blocks of our traditional east coast vernacular.

But few of us would imagine this dwelling, called the Sliding House of Upper Kingsburg, Nova Scotia.


Source: Sliding House, Canada

Designed by MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects, in conjunction with David Peters and Rhonda Rubenstein, the Sliding House is situated on an 8 degree slope 2. This angular exterior design explores the relationship between the curvature of the glacial hills and the horizon.

A common characteristic of coastal Maritime living is the constant exposure to wind. With the area’s brisk northern winds in mind, the architects designed the home so that living spaces were protected by a thick north servicewall containing stairs, baths, kitchen, hearth and storage.

The corrugated industrial material of the exterior also provides protection, resulting in a fortress-like appearance against the backdrop of the bucolic countryside.


Source: MLS Architects

In contrast to the imposing exterior, the interior is a warm serene space.

Below, we can see how the single line of windows represents and frames the distant horizon


Source: MLS Architects

Source: MLS Architects 

The interior is finished in poplar hardwood to appear like it is carved from one block of wood1.

The monochromatic rooms encourage the eye to explore the texture and lines of the walls, floor and ceiling. 


Source: MLS Architects 


Composed in a ‘monolithic palette' of materials, the result is a minimalist aesthetic and function.

It is both of its place and radically modern - testing the limits of a critical regionalist position1.

Do you Love? The Sliding House is available for summer rentals, ranging from $1800 to $2300 a week. For reservations click HERE


Researched and written by Larisa Nagelberg, graduate of Environmental and Human Geography from The University of Toronto


1. MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects. Sliding House. Retrieved from
2. Sliding House, Canada. About Sliding House. Retrieved from

Posted In: Nova Scotia

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