MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects are located in the Northern valleys and fields of Nova Scotia, where their timeless archetype designs sprinkle this Canadian province, enriching communities and its urban landscape. One such great example would be the Smith House, perched on a two-acre in an expansive and picturesque valley in a rural region of Kingsburg, where long ago, the small peninsula housed an inshore fishing port.
The home design consists of three pavilions, spanning from a salt pond to the oceanfront.
These houses have a cosy wooden interior that’s stylish but still homey and comforting. Both indoor and outdoor spaces are divided in an interesting way, which create mini-spaces in the forms of nooks, and microclimates between the multiple courtyards.
One of the main goals of the project was to create a proto-urban conceptual restoration. The division of the home design into three separate pavilions is a reference to traditional forms of vernacular building, in the urban context of the community of the long-standing fishing town.
The form of the simple gable-roofs is also a testament to the community and its local history. Brilliantly designed from corten steel panels which make for a durable and lasting building envelope, the form of the home is sleek and stylish, while it still maintains its reference to more traditional styles.
The stone plinth is made entirely of local granite, which has been indigenous to the region since melting glaciers brought it there during the last ice age.
In fact, granite is the foundation material of all the nearby historic ruins. MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple conscientiously, cleverly, and thoughtfully integrated the character and story of the land and the local community into the Smith House.
Architecture does not exist in a bubble – it exists in a space with context and a story. Truly effective design not only considers its space but also responds to it in a positive way. That’s what makes MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple such successful designers – they have a deeply rooted connection to the environment, both urban and natural.
For more amazing designs like this one, check out their work on the MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects website or these Houseporn.ca articles celebrating their domestic art:
Photos courtesy of Doublespace Photography.
Researched and Written by Mikhail Shchupak-Katsman, Undergraduate Environmental Design, OCAD University