On the shore of perhaps the most beautiful lake in Canada, a young family engaged BLDG Workshop to carve away the dim, dated existing home in order to live uninhibited in relation to the outdoors.
Located in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, Kalamalka Lake is famous for its changing colors throughout the seasons, perfectly fitting its local moniker: “The Lake of a Thousand Colors”.
Within this breathtaking environment of majestic trees, surrounding mountains and the lake, BLDG Workshop completed its most intricate and sensitive work to date.
Nathan Buhler, founder of BLDG Workshop was asked to design a new home in collaboration with his sister Adrianne Bailie Design. Faced with the option of either tearing down the existing 1970’s house or renovating; Buhler carefully considered both options before electing to renovate.
In an effort to come up with a solution with an eye towards both sustainability and cost effectiveness, the design process focused on preserving the site’s beautiful mature vegetation. The original house was dim, clunky and didn’t take advantage of its beautiful surroundings and seemed to purposely shun natural light and views.
One could not see the lake from hardly anywhere within the home. Technically a three-storey home, its split-level layout divided it into seven distinct levels with each disrupting the light and circulation until it felt dark and disjointed.
Working with the existing massing of the original home, Buhler transformed the house by paying close attention to its solar orientation.
Chopping and carving windows and skylights, allowed light in finally from every angle at various time of the day and throughout the seasons. By opening the renovated house up to the lake and its surroundings, Buhler gave it a sense of place among the trees rather than a dwelling trying to distance itself from nature.
The resulting home is a modern transformation that pays homage to its mid-century roots while remaining grounded in its mature native setting.
Reflecting the juxtaposed textures of the surrounding landscape, the house is clad in contrasting textures, a variegated charred cedar cladding treated in the traditional Japanese style of Shou Sugi Ban and a textureless pure white finish. As a result, the facade rhythmically alternates between itself and the landscape to create a modern home that sits agelessly by the lake.
The homeowners can now truly experience lakeside living, through the transformation of the home.
The house has been sculpted to welcome the surrounding nature into every crevice while maintaining a modern boldness and beauty that complements the landscape..