Canadian architect wins two AIA Housing awards

The American Institute of Architect’s (AIA) Housing Awards program was established to acknowledge the best in housing design for new construction, renovations and restorations.

Each year, projects are awarded based on four categories: one- and two-family custom residences; one- and two-family production homes; multifamily housing; and specialized housing.

A five-member jury that evaluated whether designs are sustainable, affordable, durable, innovative, socially impactful, met client needs, and addressed the natural and built contexts, selected this year’s recipients.

Canadian firm MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects has won two of the AIA’s twelve 2019 Housing Awards. The Nova Scotia-based firm received awards for both Mirror Point Cottage in Nova Scotia, and Bigwin Island Club Cabins in Baysville, Ontario.

Mirror Point Cottage
Category 1: One- and Two-Family Custom Residences

Photo Credit: James Brittain

Located on a lake near Annapolis Royal in Nova Scotia, Mirror Point Cottage is a vacation home designed as an elevated 80-foot-long extruded ‘fish shed’. The cottage is supported by a steel aedicule and a board-formed concrete entry core. It is a long, south-facing screened porch elevated over the lake for prospect. A thick, totemic north wall protects and insulates the interior, while the hovering building forms a gate framing the view to the lake. The rusted steel aedicule contains a sunken outdoor summer kitchen, which offers a sheltered place at grade. Mirror Point Cottage is a passive solar dwelling with a high thermal mass concrete floor, and hydronic in-floor heating.

Bigwin Island Club Cabins
Category 3: Multifamily Housing

Photo Credit: Doublespace Photography

The three cabins on Bigwin Island sit nestled among maple, pine and ash trees. They enjoy a sweeping view down to the golf course and the lake beyond. They are the first of 40 planned cabins that will follow three design templates, each inspired by a different type of landscape found on the island: linear on the lake, courtyard in the woods, and pinwheel on the meadow.

Complete details for each of the awarded projects can be reviewed on AIA’s website.