Imagine a standard 1970s-era mobile home parked on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore. Our challenges: how to make a site-specific architecture of this pre-fab; how to transform a leak-prone mobile home into a modern all-season dwelling that embraces the landscape? All on a tight budget.

Project Name: Immobile Home
Studio Name: Habit Studio
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Photography: Peter Bogaczewicz
Project size: 2000 ft2
Site size: 103909 ft2
Completion date: 2013
Building levels: 2

Immobile Home by Habit Studio - Sheet1
Exterior View ©Peter Bogaczewicz

The site is approached from a lane that crosses the Trans-Canada hiking trail. The site descends, revealing a panoramic expanse of ocean. The boardwalks and bridges of the coastal hiking trail that hover above the marshlands of this shore offer an irresistible metaphor to bridge old and new.

Immobile Home by Habit Studio - Sheet2
Staircase ©Peter Bogaczewicz

The architectural starting point is a reinterpretation of the mobile home’s unique structural system. Two parallel steel beams, set a meter back from the dwelling’s perimeter, support outriggers that carry roof and wall loads back to the beams. The house is anchored to new foundations, yet floats above the ground. A new entry box further establishes a connection to the ground and allows for circulation to an additional living space that responds to the slope of the site.

Immobile Home by Habit Studio - Sheet3
Rear View ©Peter Bogaczewicz

Sustainable elements of this project include retaining the “chassis” of the mobile home and minimizing the foundation footprint. Solar orientation and large windows guarantee optimal daylight and respond to the views of the site: the ocean, the sunset and the east forest. This project was featured in Canadian Architecture magazine.

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