On a steep sloping site in Kaleden, British Columbia a single-family home designed by CEI Architecture sits high above the west bank of Skaha Lake. To say that this home, the Lefebvre-Smyth Residence, was designed to minimize the building’s footprint and maximize its respect of the natural surroundings is putting it lightly. The home is perched on a hillside overlooking a gorgeous landscape near Kelowna, British Columbia, and the design of the residence compliments its surroundings.
The CEI Architecture team, which has offices located in Vancouver, Kelowna, and Victoria, was led by Nick Bevanda and Rob Cesnik during their work on the Lefebvre-Smyth Residence. Inspired by the site’s 300-degree view and given the freedom to create an environment motivated vernacular for the home, CEI Architecture formed a custom-designed residence that responded to the site through many sustainable methods.
The main solution to the steep site was to minimize the building’s footprint and employing a cantilevered structure to extend the living space over a gorge on the property. The idea of minimizing the impact on the site also extended to storm water management strategies and water efficient landscaping. Bevanda and his team also responded to the site through passive solar strategies, which helped to maximize the daylight and solar gain to make the building more comfortable and energy efficient. The roof shape is a response to the need to shade the interior from extreme summer sunlight, as well. It is easy to say that the home’s roof shape is ultimately what gives the building so much character.
Other sustainable methods revolved around the materiality of the project. The building was constructed from regional materials giving the building a sense of local identity. Glue-laminated beams and wood can be seen from almost any angle of the home. This wood is brilliantly juxtaposed to the standing-seam metal siding which wraps from the roof down one side of each wing of the home. The entrance of the building splits the service wing from the living space and this can be seen in the separation of the two main roof forms.
The Lefebvre-Smyth Residence recently won a Silver Tommie Award from the Canadian Home Builder’s Association, and is being considered for a Gold Award this month. This 3,000-square-foot home is definitely something to be acknowledged in any homebuilding circle.