Located on a hilltop, on an island, in Antigonish Harbour, the Bowler House derives its form from the barns in the surrounding agrarian community. Both the main house and the shed/guest house adopt this understated vernacular expression in order to create an image of outward modesty sought by the client.
This is an upside down house which places the social living spaces on the second level and the bedrooms at grade, in order to enhance panoramic views through a generous clerestory window. A double-height foyer connects the living area to the ground. Two interior corner lofts cap two recessed second level decks.
The exterior consists of the rustic vertical board on batten hemlock cladding, together with a corrugated Galvalume roof. On the interior, a primary steel frame structure is wrapped by a light timber frame envelope. The building is outsulated, rather than traditionally insulated, allowing the wood framing to be completely exposed on the upper level. This approach allows for a tighter building without thermal bridges, avoids trapping moist air in wall cavities, and completes the barn experience. The lower sleeping level is finished in drywall for contrast. In addition, this project employs passive solar strategies such as: thermal mass (concrete floors), extensive south window orientation, and a geothermal heat pump connected to a hydronic in-floor heating system. Windows are aluminum curtainwall.