Black Gables are, simply put, two modestly sized, jet black gabled buildings with metal roofs. The two buildings—one serves as a primary living space and the other as a studio and darkroom—are located at skewed angles to take advantage of the best views, ensure exposure to appropriate daylighting, and create an overall playful composition.
The project was designed for small-town physician, acclaimed artist and collector Jonah Samson. (http://www.jonahsamson.net)
The house was built between May and December 2013 in Louisdale, a small town on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia. Jonah Samson lived in Vancouver, Canada for about ten years before deciding that he wanted to return to the east coast to build a home/studio on a forested piece of ocean-front property that had been in his family for generations. It was only after cutting down some of the trees that we realized how spectacular the view from the house was going to be.
The goal was to be economical with regards both to the budget and to the amount of space the buildings occupied in the forest. The 1200-square-foot house includes one bedroom and a separate room that the client uses as a library/office. A wide hallway runs down the entire length of the house, providing the client with a long wall on which to display art. The detached 450-square-foot studio is primarily open space, but also houses a small darkroom. The total budget for both buildings was about $300,000.
The house was built using all local materials and labor. It was constructed from a wood frame on a concrete slab. The exterior of the house is an all-black composition of textures, including the metal jacket roof, cedar shingles and metal cladding between the windows. We decided to spend money on the roof, shingles and windows, and save money by using a pre-fabricated structure. Using local builders and contractors also allowed us to lower the total cost.