the world's most visited architecture website

Bowen Island House / bai architects

  • Architects: bai architects
  • Location: Bowen Island, BC, Canada
  • Architect: bai architects
  • Lead Design Architect: Cedric Burgers
  • Interior Designer: Marieke Burgers
  • Project Team: David Hodgson, Stefania Violante
  • Structural Engineer: Eric Steffensen, CA-Boom Engineering
  • Photographs: Michael Boland

© Michael Boland © Michael Boland © Michael Boland © Michael Boland

From the architect. Location

Bowen Island is approximately 30 minutes by ferry from Vancouver, BC. The property is south facing, with a view over the Straight of Georgia and Vancouver.

© Michael Boland
© Michael Boland


The design was inspired by the old fish and boat storage structures common in the fishing villages dotted along the B.C. coastline. Integrated into the process from these structures is a simple, linear, utilitarian methodology where roof and walls are cladded in the same materials, creating a seamless transition between structure and size.

© Michael Boland
© Michael Boland


At night, the south facing facades constructed of floor to ceiling butted glass glow with interior light, and act as a beacon to the shore. The north side main entry is also fully glazed and acts as a welcome gesture to guests as they approach the home from the end of a long walkway.

© Michael Boland
© Michael Boland

Design challenge

From day one we faced the challenge of an existing building design scheme, which mandated an Arts and Crafts vernacular. The building envelope also mandated a retention of the existing coastal fir stand. Our goal was to retain the existing stand of Arbutus trees and coastal Firs and to wrap the program around these assets, which was accepted by the developer. The retention of these natural assets would be a fair trade to the Arts & Crafts vernacular.

© Michael Boland
© Michael Boland
Cite:"Bowen Island House / bai architects" 24 Jul 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>