overlooking the ocean waters surrounding british columbia’s galiano island, a 1970’s-era cabin known as ‘the acorn’ is revitalized as an oasis retreat by architect and builder patrick powers. initially conceived during an era before building permits, the small structure projects directly over the high-tide line, completely immersed in the pacific environment. powers employs his extensive experience in building modern homes with the renovation of the acorn, first designed to embody a rustic simplicity.

acorn cabin powers
all images by andrew latreille



while the owner’s firm powers construction builds homes designed by some of the best architects of the pacific northwest, the detailing of the acorn cabin is held to the same high standard of refinement. at the time of its possession the derelict structure — with its rotting fifteen foot structural posts — had been seemingly on the brink of collapse into the ocean. with its distinctive profile and sweeping south and west facing views, powers revitalizes the project with respect for its rustic integrity. the character of the acorn is preserved through the use of materials that visually integrate into the natural context and seamlessly age with it.

acorn cabin powers



with influence from a rustic cottage upbringing along ontario’s georgian bay, powers draws design inspiration from the outward looking acorn’s proximity to the water. a system of sliding glass doors measuring sixteen feet in width serves to maximize views from the dining, kitchen, and living areas. the deck is rebuilt to cantilever outward over the master bedroom in the basement below with the use of raw steel I-beams, allowing for unobstructed views from the bedrooms across entire thirty foot width of the basement. the water only a few feet below the sliding glass doors of the master bedroom gives visitors the impression of sleeping directly on the ocean.

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project info:


project title: the acorn

design/build: powers construction

location: galiano island, british columbia, canada

photography: andrew latreille