Helmcken Island villa

Helmcken Island, British Columbia - Canada / 2012
Architecture, Private

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The island of Helmcken, in British Columbia, wholly covered by dense and uncontaminated vegetation and with few points of access from the sea, is the ideal setting for a private residence where its owners may dedicate time to rest and meditation. According to the client’s wishes the villa is conceived as an intimate shelter, while remaining a temporary structure that may be removed in order to restore the island to its original state, if it should no longer be used. The villa is therefore the result of a modular assemblage of steel elements which may be assembled, disassembled, put together again and shipped to a new destination. The transitory nature of the villa is linked to the philosophy of a building that is perfectly compatible with its surroundings, and based on the principles of sustainable architecture. The production of the energy necessary for its operation therefore relies on the surrounding environment and to its precious resources. The building dominates the landscape with the large projection on the southern slope of the hill. The plan, characterized by a C-shaped development, winds freely along a sinuous and soft path; it rests on only two level points, where the whole volume is solidly anchored to the ground. The large wing which is projected above the landing by sea makes the whole volume seem to fluctuate in an unlikely and unstable equilibrium. The grid structure of the entire building is faced by a translucent and opalescent glass surface which makes it resemble a lighthouse when seen from the sea at night, and a technological and dematerialized element during the day.

ProgramPrivate residence
LocationHelmcken Island, British Columbia - Canada
Project2012
PurchaserPrivate
Terrain Surface15,000 sqm
Building Surface1500 sqm
Volume8000 m3