de Vries House

This is a house for a retired writer returning back to Canada from the United States with a fantastic book collection. The scheme creates an experience of living among books.

This long, galvalume clad wedge house on cliff over Nova Scotia’s south-western Atlantic Coast, is reminiscent of Howard House, Sunset Rock, and the Shobac Studio. It both fits into and takes possession of the landscape. The plan addresses the human need for both prospect and refuge, by contrasting a mute, protective, thick, north service wall against the woods, with a glazed south wall over the sea. Large bites are subtracted from the monolithic form to create a covered entrance and a covered south terrace. The main interior feature is a long, skylit slot, which acts as a spine and orientation device which connects the entry, master suite, Great Room, and a generous second floor library. The library contains a giant south window over the sea and a bed box for guests.

The exterior bites are finished in white, channel-joint wood boards, in order to make the transition between the silver envelope and the completely white interior, which invites the bold ocean in.