- Name: Tula House
- Type: Modern Contemporary
- Bedrooms: 3
- Bathrooms: 4
- Size: 4,350 sq. ft.
- Built: 2012
A purposeful serendipity of nature and contemporary architecture, the Tula House cultivates a sense of dwelling within the omnipresent luxury of its diverse and unique geometric structure. Spectacularly perched 44 feet above the Pacific Ocean on Quadra Island on Canada’s supernatural West Coast; this dramatic manse escapes the casual irregularity of its site’s rock ledges, beach, and forest with the stark contrast of its defined spatial order to create an exclusively serene retreat.
The topography of the site is highly irregular; the prospects diverse. Views to the east stretch over the open water and islands of the Strait of Georgia to the mountain ranges on the mainland of British Columbia. Views to the south overlook a small tidal basin. Moss covered basalt hills are interspersed among treed expanses and richly vegetated crevices, valleys and swales. Stands of red alder and big-leafed maple enliven the predominantly dark Douglas fir forest. The shoreline below the house is littered with the flotsam and jetsam of the ocean where logs and rocks have been tossed around by the tides and storms like a child’s game of pickup sticks.
Low rock walls edge a gravel approach to the house. A loose arrangement of concrete walls, clad in staggered fibre-cement panels, begins to describe space. These panels are charcoal in color, so that from a distance the house visually recedes into the dark forest. The roof, planted in moss and native ground covers, appears from above to be continuous with the surrounding ground plane. Within the house, a series of slowly unfolding concrete walls define and channel the flow of space through to ocean views. This primary flow is diverted in passage by eddies of secondary space which branch off, separating and focusing moments of diversity in the site: the small tidal basin off the kitchen nook, a ledge of moss covered rock in the bedrooms, a view back from the court to a swath of deciduous trees. At the cliff-edge, the solidity of concrete floors is left behind. A steel-framed, wooden deck cantilevers into the air. While an uninterrupted expanse of glass takes in distant, sublime views of the Straight, glazed apertures in the floor of the living room deck open vertiginously to the textures and sensual immediacy of beach and ocean below.
- Architect: Patkau Architects
- Photography: James Dow
- Location: Quadra Island, BC, Canada