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Unusual linear house with open breezeway and luminous ceiling

Award winning Canadian architecture firm Patkau Architects designed this modern farmhouse which responds to its natural British Columbia setting while maintaining a contemporary edge. Linear House sits on a 16-acre farm on Salt Spring Island, surrounded by trees, mountaintops and the water extending out to the horizon. Expansive glazing and an open breezeway running the length of the house artfully connect structure and nature. A cantilevered arm protrudes from the house, providing shelter to the patio just off the main volume for all-weather outdoor entertaining. Contemporary interiors are a sharp contrast to the home’s earthy exterior, featuring a cool translucent white ceiling that glows from inside out.

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The monolith takes shape as a long, straight line stretching 276 ft. between a row of Douglas fir trees and a fruit orchard. The charcoal colored exterior echoes this rocky setting, but with a refined edge. The architects explain, the new house is “subdivided by a breezeway into a principal dwelling and guest quarters. The exterior of the house is clad in charcoal colored fiber cement panels which render the house almost invisible when seen against the dark green foliage of the fir trees.”

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The house sits on a gentle slope, raising it slightly above the landscape to but it as a perfect vantage point to take in the surrounding views.

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The house was designed and built to replace an existing cottage, which was sold and relocated to a neighboring property. The old barn, garage and studio were left on the property.

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From the architect: “Interiors are described by a luminous inner lining made of translucent acrylic panels. Over forty skylights bring sunlight into roof and wall assemblies during the day which causes this interior liner to glow softly; while at night, fluorescent lights mounted within the skylight openings turn the entire interior into a luminous field. Areas within this overall luminous surround are subdivided and defined by the insertion of reinforced concrete fireplace masses and wood cabinet-like service spaces. Glazing within window openings, the largest of which is 78 feet wide, is fully retractable, so that during the prolonged fair weather of Salt Spring Island the house can be transformed into an open-air pavilion.”

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What a see-through view!

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This linear kitchen may be long and lean, but slide open the walls to let nature in! The space is functional, featuring an elongated breakfast bar facing the forest view. A organic palette of materials includes wood floors and island, and a concrete wall and fireplace – complementing nature, yet contrasting the contemporary stainless steel appliances and the unusual, luminous ceiling that runs through the house.

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The fireplace serves as a cool focal point and also breaks up this open concept area.

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From kitchen to bath, the views follow you as you move from room to room. We love this serene, spa-inspired space that lets you shower yourself with water, and nature!

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The bedroom is a private retreat accessed via a long, illuminated hallway, wrapped in translucent sheets which let natural light soak in.

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The bedroom aptly boasts dreamy views of lush forest, within easy reach through the sliding wall.

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But there’s more to this space than meets the eye. We love this loft – a secret little spot accessed by a ladder, offering an escape from the everyday.
Floor plans

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Patkau Architects
via Arch Daily
Photo credit: James Dow

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