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Modern home reflects a new view of the Okanagan

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Architect Nick Bevanda’s new project in Kaleden, an upscale enclave just South of Penticton, designed for historian David Smyth and his wife, scientist Yvonne Lefebvre.

Ed White

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‘Few people want you to take the time to explore how the building can be formed from the land, from the views, the climate,” explains Mr. Bevanda, whose passion for architecture is matched by his celebration of the region, where he grew up as the son of a vineyard owner.

Ed White

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Whe first visited the site overlooking Skaha Lake., Mr. Bevanda was impressed by the 300-degree view of the lake and surrounding hills. But what really caught his eye was the view between the trees – a kind of corridor of outcroppings – with the lake behind it.

Ed White/photo

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Mr. Bevanda turned the house 180 degrees so it sits perpendicular rather than parallel to the lake, with the view between the trees as the focal point.

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“It’s a precarious site,” he says, noting the steep grade and the sandy soil, “and we wanted to make sure the house sat on the site as lightly as possible.” His solution was to employ the magic of cantilevering – extending the house and the program over the site – leaving it suspended over the gully below.

Ed White

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The form of the glass, wood and concrete house was generated by the need for a sloped roof that provides shading and relief from the summer heat. The big overhangs also offer framed views of the lake and hills from the main deck off the kitchen/living area, and the sloping form is repeated on the roof of the garage.

Ed White

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The house is delineated by an entranceway corridor on the first floor – flanked by a descending stairwell and an overhead skylight – that separates the living from the service areas. Externally, this transitional space separates the two main roof forms that slope in opposing north-south directions. Large fir beams on both floors run at an east-west axis, while a single steel I-beam and column hold up the eastern edge of the house.

Ed White

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The asymmetry of the sloped roofs is reflected in the interior spaces, where large trapezoidal windows and doorways offer uniquely framed views of the environs, challenging traditional perceptions of indoor and outdoor and further fusing them into a singular aesthetic.

Ed White

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The interior palette has been kept to a minimal one of white walls and birch flooring, so the ochre-coloured hills and blue water can seep into a blank canvas.

Ed White

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While the kitchen and living area is the largest space in the house, it’s the master bedroom that feels like the big reveal. Here wrap around glazing opens up to the view of the lake and trees, while a fir wall on the north side of the balcony – angled to block views of the neighbouring vinyl siding clad home – offers aesthetic relief and privacy.

Ed White

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