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Governor General's Medals in Architecture — 2014 Recipient

Tula House
Quadra Island
BC
Award Category: 
Governor General’s Medals in Architecture

Patkau Architects Inc.

Lead design architect(s): 

John Patkau, FRAIC
Patricia Patkau, FRAIC

Tula House sits on a remote island, at the edge of a cliff, 13 metres above the Pacific Ocean. The house is both primary residence for the clients and headquarters for their private foundation.

The spatial order of the house reflects the casual irregularity of the site’s rock mounds, ocean edges and forest. Exterior walls are clad in black fibre-cement panels, visually receding into forest. A green roof consists of indigenous plants. A steel-framed, wooden deck cantilevers at cliff-edge. An expanse of glass captures the view while glazed apertures in the deck open vertiginously to the ocean below.       

Jury Comment(s): 

"Here is a spectacular house for a spectacular site. The jury admired the lightness of the structure on the land and the architect’s sure hand in all aspects of the design and execution. Against the open views and overhanging floors, sea-side, sensory connections are established with groundwater streams and moss-covered rocks, land-side. Light is brought inside to create an atmosphere of repose, punctuated with dramatic moments. This house stands in dynamic harmony with nature."

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Photos: James Dow/Patkau Architects

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