Architecture MondaySeptember 19, 2016
I love this project. Ostensibly a simple little boathouse, there’s nothing mundane about it. It’s a shed that could store boats, yes, but it has also been created as a place to gather, a place to observe, a place to contemplate. It’s a building that is made of a riot of different materials and where nearly every face is different in some way from the one adjacent to it. And yet, it comes together in a way to create a space that truly signs and is a joy to be in.
The expressiveness begins right away with the frames that support the walls and roof. While the shiny white frames are new, much of the materials (including the windows) are salvaged, and the contrast between the shiny white new the old enhances the richness of the re-used materials. The natural rocks of the site, integrated into the room to form an edge, adds further texture and grounding to the room (as well a s a place to sit near the hanging fire pit).
While not a huge building, the shiny new frames a lofty roofline that, coupled with the windows that march their way up the walls and to become part of the roof, makes the space feel alive and expansive. Contrasting this seamless march of wood and glass, the other wall is entirely comprised of shutters inset from the roof edge that can, using a simple set of pulleys, be fully opened to a deck. Coupled with the two doors facing the edge of the water, inside flows outside and vice versa and the space joins the quiet landscape.
Inside, the shutters are wrapped with fabric, behind which are lights to illuminating the space at night with a diffuse ethereal glow. At night, the light escapes the long windows to become a soft lantern in the countryside.
Made with local materials, the boathouse will patina over time and merge ever more fully with the landscape that surrounds it.
Beautiful, beautiful work. I can picture myself there quite easily.