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Governor General's Medals in Architecture — 2012 Recipient

Linear House
Vancouver
BC
Award Category: 
Governor General’s Medals in Architecture

Patkau Architects Inc

Lead design architect(s): 

John Patkau, FRAIC

Linear House is located on Salt Spring Island. It extends 276 feet in a straight line in the space between a line of fir trees to the north and an orchard to the south. The house is clad in charcoal-coloured panels which render it almost invisible when seen against the dark foliage of the firs. Interiors are described by a luminous inner lining of translucent panels. Over forty skylights bring sunlight into the roof and wall assemblies during the day causing the interior liner to glow softly. Retractable glazed doors allow the house to be transformed into an open-air pavilion in fair weather.

Jury Comment(s): 

"As an innovative contemporary variation on the pavilion in the landscape, this is an immensely compelling and dramatic example of domestic architecture. The linear form powerfully demarcates the house’s presence in the landscape, framing and defining views along its length, while the sides open up to blur the distinction between inside and out, connecting the occupants both visually and experientially with nature. Skilfully realised in terms of materials, spatial quality and the play of light, it is a sophisticated and sensitive reworking of the classic rural retreat."

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photos: James Dow

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