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  6. Hill House / MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects

Hill House / MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects

  • 01:00 - 14 April, 2011
Hill House / MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects
Hill House / MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects, © Steven Evans Photography
© Steven Evans Photography

© Steven Evans Photography © Steven Evans Photography © Steven Evans Photography © Steven Evans Photography +8

From the architect. The Hill House is the first of several projects we will be featuring from MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects.  The firm has established an international reputation for design excellence garnering 75 awards including 5 governor General's Medals and the American Institute of Architects Honor Award.  They are also well known for the Ghost Architectural Laboratory, an education initiative designed to promote the transfer of architectural knowledge through direct experience.

© Steven Evans Photography
© Steven Evans Photography

The Hill House is situated alongside the Nova Scotia's south shore. The design embraces a long tradition of light timber framing and taut skinned building envelopes, which result in an architecture that is ironically both massive and delicate.

© Steven Evans Photography
© Steven Evans Photography

Landscape

At first glance Hill House appears to be audaciously sited atop a glacial hill (drumlin) along Nova Scotia’s south shore. However, it’s hilltop courtyard strangely responds to the traditional pattern of hilltop farms found throughout Lunenburg county; where a microclimate is formed by the simple pin wheeling siting of house and barn. As a result the house ‘cultivates’ rather than consumes the landscape. It merges with the hill with respectful confidence. The setting integrates both natural and cultural landscape geometries. The house is aligned on the north south axis of the 250 year old agrarian pattern, while the diagonal path through the courtyard follows the long north-west axis of the drumlin left by the glacier 15,000 years ago. The hilltop siting underlines and resolves the desire for ‘prospect’ with the need for ‘refuge’. While the house acts as a 360° panopticon, its courtyard and battered haunches offer protection in a harsh Canadian climate. This house, for a landscape photographer, is often described as acamera a didactic instrument which explains the landscape.

© Steven Evans Photography
© Steven Evans Photography

Plan

The program for this 3,000 sqf, 3 bedroom house consists of the main house (with studio), a barn (with guest quarters), and a courtyard garden between. Two low millwork and concrete walls uncoil from the two structures to embrace the courtyard axis. House and barn pinwheel with each other along a central courtyard axis. Social space and barn face inward to the courtyard through covered porches, while private spaces are stacked at the outer ends of the project. ‘Served’ and ‘servant’ functions are clearly articulated.

This is a project which aspires for absolute conceptual clarity within minimum means.

Materiality

© Steven Evans Photography
© Steven Evans Photography

Hill house expresses the material culture traditions of the Maritimes. It exhibits a kind of minimalism which is born out of a Spartan cultural ethic that eschews ostentation, and out of a response to a severe, labile climate. This ‘cultural sustainability’ is reinforced by hydronic in floor heating, the use of local, renewable materials andcraftsmanship, resulting in an accessible and affordable architecture.

Cite: "Hill House / MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects" 14 Apr 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/127681/hill-house-mackay-lyons-sweetapple-architects/>
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11 Comments

Red Wolf · April 20, 2011

Hill House http://goo.gl/qkm0l #architecture

leaflette · April 16, 2011

RT @nicholaspatten: Hill House. http://bit.ly/ge0YUl

Nicholas Patten · April 16, 2011

Hill House. http://bit.ly/ge0YUl

Gosia Kung, AIA · April 15, 2011

Tan-Dem House http://fb.me/QQ0pV1xN

archaalto · April 15, 2011

experiencing this house up close in all its honesty was very inspiring. the project is completely devoid of architectural pretension--just good solid detailing and well thought out spaces. the materials are warm, and the views are immersive. the character of the hill site is the main player here, and it is quite clear that this house could not be located anywhere else.

up_today_arch · April 15, 2011

nice, sophisticated...

Kimsooojin · April 15, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: Hill House / MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects http://archdai.ly/fAEFji #architecture

Martin Burris · April 15, 2011

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r s · April 15, 2011

ArD Hill House / MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects: Courtesy of MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple… http://goo.gl/fb/TDHu9

Nautilus · April 15, 2011

RT @archfeeds: Via @ArchDaily - Hill House / MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects http://dlvr.it/NW62K #architecture

Erik Joya · April 15, 2011

Hill House / MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects: Courtesy of MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple… http://goo.gl/fb/3sV5W

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© Steven Evans Photography

山坡住宅 / MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects