Architects: Studio NminusOne
Location: Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
Client: Marc Morisset
Construction Year: 2005
Contractor: Michael McGillion
Engineering: David Strandberg and C. A. Boom
Photographs: Studio NminusOne
The Khyber Ridge house was commissioned by a professional snowboarder. The strategy takes its cue from the intimate engagement of a shredder following the line of a mountain; it is one of maximum engagement with the site. The house is distributed along a steep slope, developing diverse tactical relations to the landscape, the surrounding views and the internal functions or program of the house.
Made up of five levels, the lower level, a guest house is embedded in the rock for maximum privacy. Its green roof blends in with the landscape. In contrast the main living volume is formed by a cantilevering roof with a suspended floor projecting out of the slope. The cantilever is anchored by four 3 foot deep steel beams drilled directly into the rock face; its floor is suspended by four, 1 inch diameter stainless steel rods. With its glass enclosure, the effect created is of a floating open platform, revealing when occupied the full impact of the surrounding mountains. One is literally suspended in space and surrounded by the foliage of trees. The upper level bedrooms retreat back along the contours of the mountain producing discreet relationships to the surrounding views. As the inhabitants navigate these volumes, they continuously weave in and out of the terrain.
In the winter, the flat roof of the living level retains the snow. The snow then acts as an insulating blanket keeping the temperature close to 0 degrees Celsius. In the summer, the flat roof becomes a necessary flat surface for outdoor living, leaving the rest of the sloped site intact.
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