Location: Whistler BC
Date of completion: December 2016
Size: 5000 sf
Architecture Team: Burgers Architecture- Cedric Burgers Architect AIBC, Sanel Avdic, Ben Coulston
Interior Design: Sophie Burke Design
Structural Engineering: Boris Klarich, CA Boom
Landscape Architecture: Considered Design
Construction: Matheo Durfeld, Durfeld Construction and BC Passive House
Photography: Ema Peter
Located in a cul-de-sac at the end of a forested, quiet street, the entry to the house is unassuming. In keeping with this, and the need for privacy, the house first presents itself as a solid sloped black mass of standing seam metal roofing, an irregularly shaped mass reminiscent of the masses of volcanic black basalt common to the area. Approaching the entry door from the street, as though entering a crack between two enormous stone sentinels, glimpses of the intimate, private character of the home are permitted- as though peering through to a glacier beyond the craggy rocks- a serene world of expansive views and whiteness.
Inside, the house faces southwest directly towards untainted and unknown Mount Sproatt, turning away from the views of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains- a decidedly bold and atypical move amongst Whistlerites. Driven by the owner- whose family were instrumental in developing the resort- a lot of time was spent crafting the precise orientation of the home, leading to the decision that an atypical view was more dynamic and dramatic than the typical- a view towards nature rather than the manicured precision of the famed resort mountains.
The great room on the main floor is bookended by an intimate breakfast nook to the east and a wood-burning stove set in a concrete wall to the west. Stacking sliding windows open between to the two bookends, on the south. Upstairs, a master suite, 2 children’s bedrooms and a yoga studio and in the basement, guest accommodations, a theatre and a bunkroom containing 4 custom queen size bunk beds all round out a functional and efficient layout. Throughout, bleached wide-plank oak floors, bleached hemlock ceilings, concrete and white plaster walls create a feeling of Nordic calm. Sliding doors in the basements open to a hot tub overlooking the forest and gently sloping rear yard.
Prefabrication of all walls and roof panels took place at the BC Passive House facility in nearby Pemberton- all the walls were erected around a steel frame in a matter of days and include stud framing, sheathing and insulation. This manner of construction is very precise and quick. As importantly, it is also very airtight and well insulated- providing for and energy-efficient home. Triple pane glazing, large overhangs, external roller blinds and an array of photovoltaic panels combine to make the home green, comfortable, silent and calm as the glacier which served as its inspiration.