Malinka Addition, Naramata, British Columbia

Malinka Gallery addition. Photo Katie Huisman

In 2003, architect Florian Maurer built his personal home in Naramata, British Columbia. The original architecture—which won a Governor General’s Medal in 2006—explored a garden-court concept. It consisted of three detached structures around a generous enclosed garden inspired by Latin-American courtyards. The courtyard controls privacy and views—in contrast to the typical suburban house, where views can be at the mercy of neighbors.

Original Maurer House in Naramata, BC, showing landscaped courtyard. Photo Florian Mauer

The house was since sold. In 2018, the new owners of the house approached Maurer to design a small addition, to serve as a multi-purpose space and private art gallery. But the architect’s design was never intended to be expanded. With the septic field in the centre of the courtyard and the main house at the edge of a rocky slope overlooking Okanagan lake, no acceptable placement was evident.

Original Maurer House, showing placement on bedrock. Photo Florian Mauer

Upon a close examination of the property, the slope to the west of the house allowed a low-profile addition to be placed just low enough to maintain lake views from the main house, across the addition’s roof. A stainless steel roof was chosen to avoid exposing an unsightly roof membrane, explains Maurer.  “Any other roof structure, in particular a green roof, would have raised it too high to preserve the view.”

Relationship of pavilion to main house. Photo Katie Huisman
Photo Katie Huisman

Slim steel posts support the resulting gallery structure. Clad in stainless steel and reflecting sky and forest, it seems to float above the bedrock, gently fitting its grassland context. The disappearing gallery stands in contrast to massive neighboring houses, sitting on completely remodeled terrain.

Photo Katie Huisman

The owners would have gladly accepted a small free-standing structure to match the house’s original concept. But local zoning would not allow additional structures, so the gallery had to be connected to the original house by a stairway. The stair hall glazing is slotted into bedrock.  Along with the stainless-clad gallery roof, these materials and details contrast the original house’s simple thresholds and exterior woodwork.

Detail of stair on bedrock. Photo Katie Huisman

The stair bridges from the living house to the gallery—a space from which to observe not only the owner’s collection of paintings and sculptures, but also the original house’s architecture.

Pavilion interior. Photo Katie Huisman

CLIENTS Frank + Liz Malinka

ARCHITECT f2a architecture ltd.

PROJECT TEAM florian maurer, eric lajoie, austin hawkins, and caspar viereckel

STRUCTURAL fast + epp

CONTRACTOR f2a architecture ltd. with MEW construction

PHOTOS Katie Huisman, unless otherwise noted