Prefabricated house of rusted steel on the Gulf Islands

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This beautiful prefabricated house clad in rusted steel was designed by AA Robins Architect, located in the rocky southern shores of the Pacific Ocean near Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada. The property overlooks an isolated bay in the Gulf Islands that lie in the channel between the city of Vancouver and Vancouver Island. The only way to reach this home is by ferry from Vancouver, which made building this home an adventure of itself. The structural modules for this 6,500 square foot house were built in a prefab factory, barged over to the island, then driven onto the site by 23 trucks after the foundations were completed. The architect took on the massive challenge of sculpting this home into an architectural masterpiece, with a contemporary style reminiscent of the modern sculptor Alexander Calder. The cladding for both the interior and exterior facade is primarily comprised of a weathering steel patina sourced from the company Zahner.

According to the companies website, “this pre-weathered steel surface provides a vibrant and warm color to complement the surrounding blue ocean and sky. Comparative to raw weathering steel, Solanum Steel offers a stable surface which reduces runoff from the natural patina on its surface.” This cladding takes on the hues from the surrounding landscape, while the windows throughout the prefabricated house mostly face the bay and disappear into the walls to eliminate the barriers from inside and out. This also helps to accommodate the homeowners with easy access to the patio and swimming pool during the summer season. The pool can be used for a good portion of the year due to geothermal energy; powered by the ocean it provides hot water to both the pool and underfloor heating system.

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This prefabricated house is harmoniously integrated into its natural surroundings, blurring the lines between indoors and out. Emphasis has been placed on the spectacular design details that can be seen on the interior and exterior architecture, as well as on the reduction of energy consumption. The home is almost entirely raised off the ground, which helps to maximize the views out to the sea, yet is almost invisible from the water. Material elements used throughout the home includes wood, stone, metal and glass. Trees that were cleared in order to construct the home were re-purposed into furnishings or interior structural elements. Holes in the rocks along the coastline are mimicked in the architecture. They can be seen as sculptural holes in the containment wall for the swimming pool as well as in the cladding on the exterior facade.

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The Vancouver architect has garnered himself three major awards: Eco Designer of the Year, Architect of the Year and Interior Designer of the Year in 2014.

RELATED: Waterfront hideaway nestled on Gambier Island

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What We Love: This house is absolutely beautiful, from the exterior rusty steel facade to all the small design details that the architect has put emphasis on. The origami-inspired shape of this house is quite superb, we are truly impressed by this home… and the views overlooking the Pacific Ocean are nothing short of spectacular! The wooded surroundings keeps the home feeling private and isolated, just what you would want in an island vacation home. What are your thoughts, do you think the design of this prefabricated house is award worthy?

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RELATED: Fascinating prefab cabin on Vashon Island, Washington

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Throughout the interiors, the flooring is comprised of ceramic tiles, stone and wood. The entryway and a portion of the living room are clad in granite, while the bathrooms feature basalt slabs and the other rooms around the home are clad with Medoc oak boards.

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This stunning kitchen features a cantilevered island comprised of a solid piece of arbutus wood (which is the same trees that surrounds the home) and concrete.

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RELATED: Contemporary prefabricated home on Orcas Island by FabCab

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Photos: Ema Peter Photography

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past tense
8 years ago

i don’t particularly care for this house; it looks weird for the sake of looking weird. the pool looks like a complete waste given that the house i facing the water. do you really need a pool to help frame a lake? what’s up with the bathroom sink? is the idea that you operate foot pedals to turn on/off the water to the faucet?