The residence, called Lookout at Broad Cove Marsh, is located on Cape Breton Island, on the outskirts of the coastal village of Inverness. The area is a popular destination for tourists, who are drawn to its scenic golf courses, sandy beaches and steep cliffs.
Accessed via a country road, the holiday dwelling is situated on a long sliver of land that overlooks the Gulf of St Lawrence.
It was designed for a married couple from Toronto who have three grown children and wanted a place where their family could come together.
The home consists of a low-lying bar made of concrete, wood and glass.
“The seasonal residence is defined by a single-loaded corridor running parallel to the length of the property, with a series of open and private spaces overlooking the ocean cliff,” said Omar Gandhi Architect, a studio founded in 2010 that has offices in Halifax and Toronto.
The southwest facade, which looks toward the sea, features vast expanses of glass offering panoramic views. Three boxy protrusions – clad in white-washed spruce boards that were locally sourced – denote the placement of bedrooms within the home.
The rear elevation features a retaining wall made of exposed concrete, and above it, a band of glazing that brings in natural light.
“The long strip of clerestory sitting atop the retaining wall allows a continuous run of gentle north-east light to peer in,” the architect described.
The cabin is topped with a simple roof that sits over the building “like a low-slung hat”. Its horizontality draws reference to the vast sea, while its overhangs help shield the interiors from the intense summer sun.
“Atop the kitchen, a portion of the roof lifts up like an open cassette deck to allow more light to trickle in, moderated by a low-tech wood brise-soleil,” the team added.
Inside, the home is split into distinct public and private zones.
One half contains a large room that contains areas for cooking, eating and relaxing. The space is anchored by an 18-foot-long (5.4-metre) island for food preparation and dining.
The other portion of the residence contains three bedrooms and bathrooms.
The stripped-down interior features concrete flooring, black metal accents and minimal decor.
Stretching through the cabin is a continuous millwork unit that functions as a wall. Measuring 48 feet (14 metres) in length, the wall extends to the outdoors, slipping “seamlessly from exterior to interior”.
Other projects by Omar Gandhi Architect include a tall, timber-clad home with a steep gabled roof and a wooden cabin for two artists that appears to climb up a hill.
Photography is by Doublespace Photography.
Design: Omar Gandhi, Jeff Shaw, Peter Kolodziej, Amber Kilborn
Clients: Sandra and John Furber
Contractor: Joseph ‘MacGee’ MacFarlane
Structural: Andrea Doncaster Engineering
Physical model: Ben Angus