2014 Recipient | AIA Housing Awards

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Kicking Horse Residence | Notes of Interest

The clients desired a weekend gathering place for their active family of five that would allow for flexibility to accommodate larger groups of family and friends and provide a direct connection to the outdoors for seasonal recreation. They requested careful arrangement of the program to maintain privacy on the narrow lot between two neighboring residences, while focusing on the views and providing direct access to nearby ski and bike trails.

While Kicking Horse Mountain resort is a relatively new ski destination, the majority of the custom homes in the area still take the form of traditional timber structures. The clients appreciated the intimate scale and warmth of traditional mountain lodges but wished to explore the possibility of creating a Modernist cabin more rooted in their Scandinavian heritage that connected directly to the landscape. The sloping site is adjacent to a ski trail and surrounded by a forest of aspen and spruce trees. Located between two neighboring residences, the careful arrangement of program maintains privacy through the thoughtful composition of windows, while focusing on the views and providing access to the nearby ski and bike trails.

Given its function as a weekend retreat, the house was designed to perform for extended periods without occupancy. The design inherently reduces exposure to natural drainage patterns by limiting the building footprint, and we worked directly with the contractor to detail the below grade drainage system to perform most efficiently for the soils on site. Electrical, heating, and security systems are monitored and controlled remotely so the client is made immediately aware of any issues, and an emergency generator was supplied in case of power outage.

The evocative forms of the house are oriented to capture daylight and views to the stunning mountain peaks above, but also act to effectively shed snow from the massive storms that move through the area. The client chose a local general contractor, native to the Golden, BC area, with a long history of building in remote areas. They enjoy both the craft involved in building intricate wooden structures from locally sourced timbers and also heading outdoors after a day of hard work. Wood is a primary natural resource in this region. The local Louisiana Pacific Mill is a lifeline for the town of Golden, and a project goal was to express the natural diversity of wood in the architecture.

Additional Credits

  • Firm Involved with Project: Bohlin Grauman Miller Architects Inc.
  • General Contractor: HR Pacific
  • Structural Engineer: Cascade Engineering Group
  • Mechanical Engineer: ReEvolition Engineering
  • Photo Credit: © Matthew Millman, © Nic Lehoux, © Best Impressions

Kicking Horse Residence

Jury Comments

House is lively and beautifully constructed!

2014 Housing Awards Jury

  • Nancy Ludwig, FAIA, Chair
  • ICON architecture, inc.
  • Charlestown, Massachusetts
  • David Barista
  • Building Design+Construction
  • Arlington Heights, Illinois
  • Louise Braverman, FAIA
  • Louise Braverman Architect
  • New York City
  • Jean Rehkamp Larson, AIA
  • Rehkamp Larson Architects, Inc.
  • Minneapolis

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