Canada's rich and varied landscapes offer endless inspiration for artists, designers, and architects. In fact, you only have to look to the Martin Lancaster house by Mackay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects to witness the power of place. This distilled version of the area's vernacular expertly draws inspiration from the local culture and natural landscape of Canada's rugged east coast, interpreting it in a thoughtful minimalist design constructed with local materials.
Featuring a two story living structure, a detached workshop, a processional courtyard, and a terrace overlooking the ocean, this minimalist composition replicates the cluster of structures found on many local agricultural homesteads.
Here the contrast between simple and luxe are engaged through the thoughtful use of an elemental palette of four materials: wood, glass, concrete, and steel.
Built with utility in mind, the residence is clad in cedar shingles, which - as a material native to the area - can withstand the seasonal freeze and thaw climate and the ocean salt air.
The carefully curated landscaping keeps the focus on the simple structural forms, and their relationship to the Atlantic Ocean. The enormous boulder grounds the site, creating an organic contrast to the uniformity of this thoughtful architectural composition.
The structure's understated monolithic tone heightens the mystery of the landscape that surrounds it, while inviting tranquility and repose.
Inside, the interior composition creates strong lines, bold structural recognition, and an open atmosphere.
With most of the materials sourced locally, it creates efficiency in maintenance and repair, ensuring the dwelling will age well even in the face of a moody costal climate.
The beauty of the natural materials, constructed through a distilled essence of place - Prospect, Nova Scotia - demonstrates that the Martin-Lancaster home reflects a new vernacular unique to Canada.
The Houseporn team admire Mackay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects for their mastery of design and their artful capacity to create what we consider a new Canadian vernacular. Check these past stories of their exemplary work like The Sliding House Of Upper Kingsburg, Nova Scotia, The Bowler House – A Rustic Beauty On Antigonish Harbour, Nova Scotia, A Pushover for The Lean-To House By Nova Scotia’s MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects, The Cliff House In Nova Scotia, and the Two Hulls House, Nova Scotia!
To see more projects by Mackay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects, visit: MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects Limited
All images by Greg Richardson
Researched and written by Amanda Salmon, a Bachelor of Fine Art Graduate from the Alberta College of Art and Design.