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  5. Brian MacKay-Lyons Urban Design
  6. Howard House / Brian MacKay-Lyons Urban Design

Howard House / Brian MacKay-Lyons Urban Design

  • 01:00 - 24 May, 2011
Howard House / Brian MacKay-Lyons Urban Design
Howard House / Brian MacKay-Lyons Urban Design, © James Steeves
© James Steeves

© James Steeves © James Steeves © James Steeves © James Steeves +6

  • Architects

  • Location

    West Pennant, NS B3V, Canada
  • Architects

    Brian MacKay-Lyons Urban Design
  • Project Team

    Brian MacKay-Lyons, Niall Savage, Trevor Davies, Talbot Sweetapple
  • Structural

    Campbell Comeau Engineering Limited
  • Client

    Vivian and David Howard
  • Builder

    Andrew Watts
  • Photographs

From the architect. The modest house is a 12 foot wide, 110 foot long wall playing a didactic role within both the natural and cultural landscapes. It sits on a four acre field surrounded by the sea on three sides: east to a domesticated fishing cove, west to the nearby wild, open ocean, and south to the immediate shore of a bay. Its ‘rough-and-ready’ wrapper is in keeping with the dog-patch-like cultural landscape context. 

© James Steeves
© James Steeves

 The exterior skin is standard, industrial, corrugated galvalume. The top-of-concrete line of the foundation is raised, expressing the relatively high cost of getting out of the ground in cold climates and forming a horizontal datum against the opposing slopes of land and roof. A heavy, concrete stair bump is a protective gesture against the prevailing westerly winds coming off of the sea.

© James Steeves
© James Steeves

The monolithic, monopitch roof climbs to the south and the water covering one continuous, unobstructed living space progressing from garage, to entry court, to kitchen, living and cantilevered deck. This tube is punctuated by totemic elements which inflect it and provide comfort and place-making (bridge, well, hearth, truss, south window). The spatial reading of the concrete foundation makes a wainscoting sill in the main living area. 

© James Steeves
© James Steeves

 Three bedrooms occupy the lower level, while a master bedroom/study occupies a second floor loft. De-laminated walls and ceiling expose conventional platform framing. The house exploits a passive environmental approach to heating and ventilation. It is an essay on the relationship between form and lifestyle which clearly demonstrates that a 12’ wide wall in the landscape can provide the spatial and functional requirements of modern living.

© James Steeves
© James Steeves

The result is a tough rather than sentimental architecture. Its minimalism has less to do with Mies van der Rohe, and more to do with the zeroness found in the pragmatism of the vernacular. Like the vernacular, it is contemporary by its use of the ordinary building conventions of its time and place.

Cite: "Howard House / Brian MacKay-Lyons Urban Design" 24 May 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/135238/howard-house-mackay-lyons-sweetapple-architects/>
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27 Comments

knoertz · April 24, 2012

Howard House / Brian MacKay-Lyons Urban Design
http://t.co/fneoVs1m via @archdaily
#architectuur #design #zeroness

Sophorn McRae · July 31, 2011

Howard House / MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects http://archdai.ly/iFVFCo #architecture

Red Wolf · May 30, 2011

Howard House http://goo.gl/cMDjy #architecture

Prescott Indigo · May 27, 2011

Coveting the Howard House in Nova Scotia (via @archdaily) http://archdai.ly/iFVFCo

RENarch · May 26, 2011

Howard House / Brian MacKay-Lyons Urban Design | ArchDaily http://t.co/QXrSFZE via @archdaily

Centurión Bertorello · May 25, 2011

Howard House / Brian MacKay-Lyons Urban Design
http://t.co/f0ulmPi

Edgard Georges · May 25, 2011

Howard House / Brian MacKay-Lyons Urban Design | ArchDaily: http://t.co/trGzOJJ

e55 · May 25, 2011

"Its minimalism has less to do with Mies van der Rohe, and more to do with the zeroness found in the pragmatism of the vernacular." Wow! What poetry! I believe the author is saying that the minimalism is a response to the barren environment, not an homage to Mies. I love the poetry of his/her words, but upon reflection, shouldn't all architecture be a response to the environment?

Pierre · August 22, 2012 07:27 PM

Yes! you're right: it SHOULD!

But not only does MacKay-Lyons talk to talk, he also walks the walk!

felipe Marques · May 25, 2011

Howard House / MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects http://archdai.ly/iFVFCo #architecture

woodrow · May 25, 2011

Great project, great architect, but wasn't this house completed nearly 10 years ago?

AC · December 22, 2014 06:35 PM

More! I visited it while it was under construction in '98.

Aleisa Mondolfi · May 25, 2011

Casa Howard, Nueva Escocia, Canadá, Brian MacKay- Lyons Urban Design. http://bit.ly/mmQSr0

Patrick Greene · May 25, 2011

One of the most beautiful homes I&#39ve seen. Howard House / Brian MacKay-Lyons Urban Design http://pulsene.ws/1IpWs #architecture #monolithic

Cabelíssima · May 25, 2011

Howard House / Brian MacKay-Lyons Urban Design | ArchDaily http://t.co/GSxVZKO via @archdaily

Mark Henderson · May 25, 2011

Howard House / Brian MacKay-Lyons Urban Design | ArchDaily: http://t.co/LExz2mZ

RIBA Plymouth Branch · May 25, 2011

Howard House / MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects http://archdai.ly/iFVFCo #architecture

Scott @ Cube Studio · May 25, 2011

Howard House / Brian MacKay-Lyons Urban Design | ArchDaily: The modest house is a 12 foot wi... http://bit.ly/lfSlm6 www.cubestudio.info

Nicholas Patten · May 25, 2011

Howard House. http://bit.ly/lPXK0M

Nicholas Patten · May 25, 2011

Howard House. http://bit.ly/lRVj1L

Erik Joya · May 25, 2011

Howard House / MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects: © James Steeves The modest house is a 12… http://goo.gl/fb/TZUzt

arquiRED Mexico · May 25, 2011

Howard House / MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects http://archdai.ly/iFVFCo #architecture

Martin Burris · May 25, 2011

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p/a/n/g/e/r/a/n · May 25, 2011

Howard House / MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects via ArchDaily - © James Steeves The modest house is a ... http://tinyurl.com/3ujqepy

GR2TF · May 25, 2011

Howard House / MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects: © James SteevesThe modest house is a 12 foot wide, 110 foot l... http://bit.ly/krpUi2

Barry Maguire · May 25, 2011

Howard House / MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects via ArchDaily - © James Steeves The modest house is a ... http://tinyurl.com/3ujqepy

ah reum kim · May 25, 2011

Howard House / Brian MacKay-Lyons Urban Design | ArchDaily http://t.co/6GgiDZY via @archdaily

Jonathon Moreels · May 25, 2011

Howard House / MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects http://archdai.ly/iFVFCo #architecture

Bocetos Digitales · May 25, 2011

Howard House / MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects: © James SteevesThe modest house is a 12 foot wide, 110 foot l... http://bit.ly/me7qc0

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