Montreal, QC, CA


Helby Island

Helby Island living is about living light. It is about saltwater, rocks, forest, and beach, and about fishing, kayaking, and general messy activities. In contrast to the rugged environment, the house is envisioned as a calm place to start and finish the day.  The transition from one environment to the other therefore becomes the most important aspect of the house.  To this end the entrance of the house is combined with a wet room so that you enter unclean and emerge clean within the living space. 

The envelope, conceived as a puffy, layered coat, covering a lightweight galvanized steel skeletal structure creates a piece of architecture that all at once draws on traditional notions of dwelling and exploits the ephemeral nature of its unique habitat. We set out to make a permanent home that is minimal and light weight while preserving contemporary form and building techniques – a not so permanent structure, familiar yet not easily identifiable, comfortably perched on the rugged shoreline.

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Status: Unbuilt
Location: Bamfield, BC, CA
Firm Role: Architect
Additional Credits: Project Team: Thomas Balaban, Jennifer Thorogood, Julia Manaças, Maxime Lefebvre