The extremely steep nature of the site left this remote piece of land unoccupied and wild for a long time but then, in 2015, someone decided it would make a perfect place for a holiday home. The site is situated in Inverness, Canada and is exposed to the harsh conditions that bring with them heavy rainstorms, salt spray and strong winds.
Because of that, the cabin had to be able to withstand all of that and that meant it needed to have a robust structural system. At the same time, the owners wanted it to show their great respect for nature and that in turn meant a minimal footprint.
The nature of the site, however, was not the starting point for the project. It all started with the idea of a cabin in the middle of nature, in a remote and wild area where its owners could escape their busy lives and find some peace every once in a while.
Those in charge of the early stages of the project were Design Base 8, an architecture and design studio led by three talented professionals: Garrett Helm, Jon Siani and Jon Wilson. They started the project and then reached out to Omar Gandhi Architects. This resulted in a collaboration on the final design, the details and the construction process.
For the team at Omar Gandhi Architects, the collaboration between architect and client is at the base of everything and the land on which a structure is built directly influences and shapes the design. Their focus is on custom modern design and believe that good architecture doesn’t need to be expensive, all ideas that are reflected into the design of the cabin.
The architects, designs and clients agreed that the environment should be put on display and that the design of the cabin should encourage occupants to get out and explore their surroundings. In order to also comply with the need for a minimal footprint, they designed the cabin in the form of a tall tower.
The tower has two viewing platforms from where expansive views can be enjoyed. One looks directly towards the ocean and the other is aligned with the valley. They both sit above the tree canopies. From up here, the surroundings with their steep slopes, gorges, forests and rocky cliffs look amazing and a lot less intimidating.
On the ground floor, the entry and the bedrooms were located. This leaves the social areas on the upper levels from where the views are most beautiful. A double-height kitchen and a dining room can be found on the second floor while the third floor is reserved for a spacious living area.
The elevated position of the site allows the cabin to offer panoramic views of the entire property and beyond. But the views weren’t the only concern. The architects and designers had to find a way to maintain a lightweight appearance and to minimize the footprint while making sure the cabin has a strong structure and is sheltered from heavy winds, rain and everything else nature throws at it.