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Beach house sanctuary floats above the forest floor in Tofino, BC

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This beach house sanctuary designed by Olson Kundig Architects is located in Tofino, a small district on Vancouver Island, off Canada’s west coast. Surrounded by a weather-beaten forest, this 2,500-square-foot beach house creates a connection between the drama of the nearby ocean and the sense of sanctuary provided by the trees.

Mainly consisting of one large space, this dwelling is filled with natural light on the south-side facing the ocean, while isolated and protected on the other side. Expansive walls of glass open the living space to panoramic views of forest and ocean, while two fireplaces on opposing ends anchor the space and provide a feeling of refuge.

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Cantilevering the house from its base provides space for ferns and beach salal to grow underneath the glass flooring that runs the perimeter of the main room, giving the sense of floating above the forest floor.

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The warm, natural tones of the interior take inspiration from Tofino’s coastal forest, and are punctuated by pieces from the owner’s contemporary art collection. Artworks were incorporated into the design of the home, with the fireplace walls specially designed to fit paintings by Sam Francis and Diego Singh.

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A collection of furniture pieces were designed exclusively for this home by architect Jim Olson. This includes a walnut sofa built into the hearth of one fireplace, completing the interior environment.

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“The emphasis was not on framing a single focal point view, but rather on capturing a panoramic view of the ocean beyond. The roof is held up only by the two chimneys on either side of the living space, which gives the feeling of the roof floating. There are no columns or interior structural systems to obscure the panoramic view; instead, it feels almost like you are outdoors in a big open space with two cozy campfires at either end,” explains architect Jim Olson.

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What We Love: This beach house sanctuary offers a quiet solitude to enjoy both forest and coast through walls of glass. These expansive picture windows not only frame the views but allows sunlight to drench interior living spaces with natural light. A neutral palette provides the perfect backdrop for the homeowners contemporary art, bringing some personality into the space. We think this would be a fabulous home to get away from it all!

Tell Us: Do you find the architecture of this home to be inspiring? If so, what elements most inspired you and why in the Comments!

Note: Have a look at a couple of our most popular home tours that we have featured here on One Kindesign from the portfolio of the architects of this project, Olson Kundig: Minimalist live/work space on the Catalonian coast of Spain and Waterfront retreat built for entertaining on the San Juan Islands.

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Photos: Courtesy of Olson Kundig Architects

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Shannon
5 months ago

What is the name of the artist and the painting that is the simple figure above the fireplace please?