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Freda's Point Residence

Residential

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Located on the Chester Peninsula in Nova Scotia, this house has a commanding view of Meisner’s Island and the sailing activities surrounding Chester Harbour. The home negotiates its steep terrain and nestles into its site organized around the exceptional ocean views and sun. From the road, the house is tucked into the slope and appears as a single-storey structure, so passers-by still see the ocean over the roof. Outdoor garden spaces are organized as a series of stone terraces linked by landscape stairs culminating in the pool deck that, through a series of sun studies, is sited to maximize sun exposure.

Designed for an ophthalmologist, the house shares the same precision of detailing that the profession demands⁠—with the field of view observed from every space carefully curated throughout the structure.

Outlook and refuge are balanced by dividing the building into a day and a night pavilion⁠—one transparent and the other more solid. The glassy day pavilion, which houses the public dwelling spaces, has a large roof floating above a glass clerestory and possesses a temple-like quality as it gathers the more enclosed spaces around it. The stone hearth wraps around the living space forming a stone bench that grounds the east elevation. The east-oriented night pavilion houses the study, master bedroom, and guest quarters.

Boardform concrete creates the stereotomic base while cedar shingles, part of the quintessential Nova Scotian vernacular, clad the walls above grade. Wood casework walls ensconce the house’s equipment and storage creating a warm counterpoint to the aluminum and glass exterior.

Resilient and sustainable strategies include collecting the rainwater for domestic use; the massing and inflected zinc roof shields the home from the sun on the south during the summer months and permits passive solar gain in the winter. Triple glazing and highly insulated walls create an envelope to withstand the harsh Nova Scotian winters.

This is a house for viewing the land and seascapes⁠—it hunkers down into the earth while reaching out to the view, site, and sun. It is a place to experience the bold ocean and changing coastal weather conditions while feeling protected within a warm sanctuary.

Type: Residential

Location: Chester, Nova Scotia