MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects designed the Martin-Lancaster House, a beautiful cedar-clad, passive solar dwelling with stunning views of the Nova Scotia coast. The 3,000-square-foot house was built using local materials and techniques that respond well to the region’s recurrent freeze-thaw cycles. The architects oriented the long side of the rectilinear courtyard home to the south to take advantage of the solar gain.
Overlooking the rugged Atlantic coast, the Martin-Lancaster House’s spatial layout is designed like a “procession toward the sea.” The courtyard home is divided into four primary components: a gable garage/guest house, a gabled social pavilion nearest to the coast, a north-facing service bar, and an arrival court between the pavilion and bar. Large strips of glazing that wrap around the double-height living pavilion complement the locally sourced cedar shingle facade.
Powered by geothermal energy, the home is heated through an in-floor, hydronic radiation system. Like the facade, the interior features a restrained material palette that alludes to the landscape with its earthy tones and wood furnishings. The south-living pavilion features a beautiful totemic concrete hearth.