Built in a spruce forest on the coast of New Brunswick, NB20°5 is a house-studio designed for occasional use.
With simple, spare lines inspired by the vernacular architecture of the Maritimes, the structure is composed of two wings made of sheet metal and wood, built directly on the ground in the centre of a natural clearing.
Instead of meeting at a traditional 90° angle, the two blocks comprising the buildings have been set an additional 20°5 further apart, opening the house towards the clearing, the afternoon sun and the breeze off Chaleur Bay.
The first block is the house itself, an open area under a peaked roof for the living room, dining room and bedroom.
The second block, similar to the first, is the all-white painting studio, bathed in light and open to nature through large glass doors.
The space joining the blocks features a large deck made of larch, while inside the two wings meet in the kitchen, a transitional space that can be either inside or outside, thanks to the two large glass garage doors installed on either side.
A nature retreat, open to the great outdoors when the occupants are in residence, NB20°5 can be closed up like a box during their absence, thanks to the cedar shutters and sliding barn doors that cover all the openings. The house-studio then goes into hibernation mode, just like animals, thereby keeping energy costs to a minimum. To prevent any moisture build-up when the house is not being heated, the interior is constructed entirely of locally sourced, mould-resistant materials: wood (no plaster or drywall) and concrete.
Wood structure clad in sheet metal.
Finalist, Prize of Excellence
residential architecture category
Ordre des architectes du Québec, 2009