August 3, 2021
This Bowen Island Retreat Boasts Mountain & Ocean Views
Nestled on a three-hectare site on Bowen Island — a tranquil community with beaches, hiking and biking trails just a 20-minute ferry ride from West Vancouver — this dwelling has an unspoiled mountain and ocean view that is the stuff of workday fantasies. The three-bedroom, 2,900-square-foot house, with its green roof, locally sourced cedar cladding and minimal footprint, blends in to the surroundings while providing a place for the owners, a pair of busy Vancouver physicians and their two young children, to relax and recharge.
“About six or seven years ago, we started thinking about how we wanted a place for our family to be more connected to nature,” says one owner, whose primary residence is an apartment in downtown Vancouver. In early 2016, that dream led the family to purchase a plot on Bowen Island, which they loved for its privacy and proximity to the city — not to mention those expansive views. “We were taken immediately by the raw beauty of it, and how the site connects to the ocean and moss-covered cliffs,” he says.
They regularly met with Vancouver’s Office of McFarlane Biggar Architects + Designers (omb), a firm that had experience building in remote coastal settings, to talk about what they hoped the house could be. They wanted the four-season structure to be as unobtrusive as possible, leading omb to design it perpendicular to the water. “For us, the most exciting challenge was to create a modest and timeless building that responds to its context,” says principal architect Steve McFarlane. “It’s designed to augment the experience of its natural setting while making space for family-focused living, art and calmness.”
It’s omb principal Michelle Biggar’s unique approach to modern design — simple functionality blended with warmth and exuberance — that flows through the rooms. “This is where we slow down from our busy work and family life in the city,” says one owner. “It gives us the chance to read by the fire and focus on quality time with our children.”
Scroll down to tour this modern summer house!