Vancouver architects Susan and David Scott set off to start their own practice and the first project they wanted to work on was their own. They designed and built a snowboard cabin located in an alpine environment on the north end of Vancouver Island. The area is very remote and during the summer for 5 months of the year it is accessed via a gravel road, but in the winter it is snowed in. Bringing gear and supplies in during the winter requires hauling things in on a toboggan. The Scotts had the help of friends and family to build the home themselves using locally-sourced lumber. The inspiration for the design came from both the surrounding landscape as well as the activities they wanted to partake in—namely snowboarding.
Elevated above the earth to keep it from getting buried, the cabin sits on stilts and enjoys the surrounding wooded landscape. Douglas Fir columns were used as the main columns to support the home and rough sawn fir lumber planed fir were used for the interior finish. Materials like the cedar cladding were left plain and untreated in order to weather and blend in with the forest. The volume and roof were built to resist the dominant winds and deal with the heavy snow loads. Water is collected from a local source and carried in. The home does not have electricity at all and is heated with a wood stove, which makes it a super low impact, off-grid retreat.
Images ©Scott and Scott Architects