Near downtown Calgary, the Guitar House is a compact modern home that celebrates music, family and the natural environment. Designed by local architecture practice Alloy Homes, the family residence emphasizes indoor-outdoor living with a natural materials palette and ample triple-glazed windows and doors that provide a seamless connection with the landscape. Its small footprint on a tight, urban site was also informed by the clients’ desires to preserve the property’s existing wild hops, which are regularly harvested by a local brewery.

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living room

kitchen with wood ceiling

Completed in 2015, the Guitar House takes its name from the clients’ collection of guitars displayed in a custom storage wall. Since music is an important aspect of the owners’ lives, the house was designed around a family-oriented performance space at the heart of the property that takes the form of a light-filled open plan living room, kitchen and dining area. This dramatic great room opens up to the outdoors at both ends with a covered porch in the front and backyard terrace in the rear — these outdoor spaces help make the home inviting for neighbors to stop by and chat.

custom wall storage with light wood cabinets holding guitars, books and art

glass floor on second floor

A key element of the open-concept great room is a full-width custom entertainment unit with custom built-in storage. “It’s a bit of a jigsaw puzzle and can be reconfigured many ways depending upon the family’s requirements,” the architects wrote. The firm also made sure to meet the family’s need for plenty of outdoor gear storage.

picnic style dining area


Related: An old, battered Calgary garage is transformed into a greenhouse

To minimize the home’s energy footprint, the architects installed a high-efficiency HVAC system, large overhanging eaves, triple-glazed windows and a highly efficient insulation. Natural light and cross ventilation are considered throughout the design. Moreover, the floor plan is highly flexible and can adapt to the family’s needs.

+ Alloy Homes

Images via Alloy Homes Incorporated