The unusual form of this home is derived from the historic siting of the original barn on the site and the more modern urban condition of the subsequent suburb that was built afterward.

Project name: Fernbrae House
Studio Name: RHAD Architects
Completion date: 2017
Building levels: 1
Location: Dartmouth, Canada
Photography: Doublespace Photography

Exterior View ©Doublespace Photography

The piece of land originally only had two buildings on site, the farmhouse and the barn. Both were oriented directly due south to partake in solar gains and views out the mouth of the Halifax Harbour. Decades later the property was sub-divided and plots of land sold off as a new development. The new housing placed their house facades facing the new curved road. The result is that the original farmhouse and barn are clearly oriented in a differing direction than the remainder of the housing on the street.

Kitchen ©Doublespace Photography

When our client approached us, she was interested in tearing down the barn to allow for one-level living (with a basement for storage) and to build a house with a new foundation and a tighter envelope. We kept the existing house siting for the main public space of the home, complete with harbour view and direct south sunlight. And then wrapped that form with a new modern corrugated steel facade that faces the street.

Living Room ©Doublespace Photography

The old (cedar box) combines with the new (corrugated steel). The new form houses the private zone of the house.


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