February 1, 2006
by Canadian Architect
Edited by Christopher Macdonald. Vancouver: Blueprint, 2005.
It’s no surprise that this book emerges at a time when Canadian architectural culture has definitively shifted to a position of recognizing site and landscape as not just essential to building, but as an originating principle. Spoiled by the quantity and variety of available land across this vast country, those that can afford to are choosing to build and inhabit alternate residences far removed from the urban condition. While each of the projects in this book represents a “house in the country,” they come divided into six categories: cabin, countryside, camp, caban, cottage, and community. Some of these projects are already recognizable through extensive media coverage, and are fast forming an iconography of heroic buildings in the great Canadian landscape. Work by some of Canada’s most accomplished architects is featured: Pierre Thibault, Ian MacDonald and Shim-Sutcliffe have all garnered considerable acclaim for their intimate small-scale domestic buildings constructed outside the city. Edited by Chris Macdonald, current Director of the University of British Columbia School of Architecture, the publication also includes insightful essays by Herbert Enns and Peter Prangnell that critically expose issues of construction, the relationship between house and context, and the anticipation of escape and retreat that their own projects provide.