Mountain cabin in Whistler BC

Residence KW08

  • Whistler
  • British Columbia
  • 2011
Mountain cabin in Whistler BC

Located in a growing neighbourhood of large-scale homes on the slope above the resort community of Whistler, British Columbia, this house occupies a restrictive yet prominent site. The visual mass of this large program volume is minimized by strategic use of the terrain and careful blasting of the bedrock. As such, a substantial portion of the house appears below grade. The thoughtful allocation of program results in a strong but unimposing home that is extremely private without compromising access to daylight and panoramic views.

whistler house

The lowest level, which connects directly to grade, has a maze-like disposition of private and communal spaces. Exposed concrete walls bracket seamless wood lined alcoves that provide access to the sleeping quarters and service spaces located on this level. The main floor is a large open room animated by multiple natural light sources and varied views to the forest and mountains beyond. As on the first floor, internal walls extend past corners obscuring the space’s sense of containment. On the exterior, walls operate in a similar manner by extending the perceived limits of the interior and cropping views to control exposure and privacy.  The uppermost loft-like level is dedicated to the master suite including a private terrace space adjacent to the stairs with full height windows to bring additional light into the core of the house.

A bathroom sink in a Whistler home

Materials are robust, locally sourced wherever possible, and appropriate to the mountain context.  Large douglas fir glulam beams and structural roof decking are exposed inside and out for continuity and warmth underneath a simple standing seam metal shed roof. The exterior of the house is clad predominantly in black stained cedar shingles. Protected under large overhangs are ‘carved out’ areas within the massing that are finished in warm red cedar horizontal siding and durable aluminium curtainwall glazing. These areas act essentially as ‘outdoor rooms’ and relate to the internal functions of the home.