mackay-lyons sweetapple brings warm, minimalist architecture to chester, nova scotia

mackay-lyons sweetapple brings warm, minimalist architecture to chester, nova scotia

a ‘house within a house’ in chester

 

The oceanside village of Chester on Nova Scotia’s South Shore sees the construction of a new home by Mackay-Lyons Sweetapple. This 1,350-square-foot house is a celebration of minimalistic design and takes shape as a ‘house within a house.’ Designed for a woman from Seattle who sought to return to her Canadian roots, the dwelling is hidden away down a slope from the main street to balance seclusion and convenience.

The design philosophy embodies minimalism in design. The ground floor, characterized by its pared-back interiors, hosts two bedrooms and a folding staircase crafted from perforated steel plate. Meanwhile, the upper level features a master bedroom suite along with the open living and dining areas, encircled by auxiliary spaces that form a protective perimeter. These areas, including the kitchen, washroom, covered balcony, and bay window, cocoon the central living space.

mackay-lyons sweetapple chesterimages © James Brittain

 

 

a facade of wood and weathered steel

 

The architects at MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple design the upper floor of its Chester House as a sanctuary for contemplation, framing forested views. Surrounded by expanses of glass, this top level allows light to pour in, revealing the intricate dance between sunlight and shadow. It also provides a sweeping view of the lush forest, complemented by small punch windows that frame postcard vignettes of the landscape washed with sunlight filtering through the canopy. The upper story’s weathered steel facade glides over its wooden base, marked by minimalistic detailing in eaves, corners, and openings. The glass entry bite inverts the typical porch design, offering an elevated perspective within the treetops, evoking a feeling of being perched in a blockhouse.

mackay-lyons sweetapple chester
a 1,350-square-foot residence finds its haven in the rural village of Chester, Nova Scotia

 

 

mackay-lyons sweetapple inverts the familiar layout

 

Descending to the lower floor of the Chester House, the design by MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects takes an unexpected turn. The bottom level evokes an ‘upside-down house,’ challenging traditional notions of living. This is where the bedrooms are situated, providing a sheltered and tranquil environment that fosters privacy and contemplation. The wooden base of this level establishes a solid and secure atmosphere, inviting calm introspection. The interior, sparsely furnished, encourages the occupant to enjoy the interplay of light and shadow across monochromatic surfaces.

mackay-lyons sweetapple chester
weathered steel glides gracefully over a wooden base to create a facade that is modern yet timeless

mackay-lyons sweetapple brings warm, minimalist architecture to chester, nova scotia
with its pared-back interiors, the home stands as a beacon of minimalistic design in Canada

mckay-lyons-sweetapple-architects-chester-house-designboom-05a

the material palette of steel and timber continues along the interior spaces

mackay-lyons sweetapple brings warm, minimalist architecture to chester, nova scotia
inhabitants are immersed in nature, with tree-filtered sunlight and the sounds of a forest stream

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shared spaces occupy the upper floor, challenging the traditional layout

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