Perched on a granite cliff above the shoreline on Canada's west coast, the BlackCliff house is a symbolic beacon for dispersed family members working and living on multiple continents. The home accommodates diverse living arrangements while connecting its occupants to the site’s abundant natural character. It is an expression of the client’s desire to create a gathering place for current and future generations while still being able to accommodate a smaller family unit.
The house takes its cues from distinct and divergent topographical features: views and light to the southwest; and the extreme contours that drop to the Salish Sea to the west. The house pivots around these two axes, resulting in a shifting spatial geometry at the intersection of the main and upper floors which appears as a void in the middle of the site. Organizationally, the upper floor supports intimacy for a small family sleeping within a tight core while still being able to accommodate larger family units in outer lying “wings”. These two areas of the building are separated but connected externally by a shared outdoor terrace. Meanwhile, carefully placed courtyards allow for a deeply stacked program to draw in light and air without impairing either view or natural light.
The spatial experience of the house is both familiar and slightly disorienting—a result of the efforts to balance the relationship between the regular orientation of the steeply sloping ground and the off-axis orientation of the light and views to create essential and intimate spaces at the core which have a strong connection to the outdoor environment.