Architect Florian Maurer of f2a architecture designed and built a family home in Naramata, British Columbia, Canada for himself. The original architecture explored a garden-court concept: 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 which is at the mercy of its neighbours.
The slope to the west allowed a low profile addition to being placed just low enough to maintain lake views across its roof from the main house. Slim steel posts support the gallery structure. Clad in stainless steel and reflecting sky and forest, it seems to float above the bedrock, fitting its grassland context gently.
The disappearing gallery contrasts massive neighbouring houses sitting on completely remodelled terrain. The new owners would have gladly accepted another 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 slotted into bedrock and stainless-clad gallery roof contrast the original house’s simple thresholds and exterior woodwork. The stair bridges from the living house to the gallery, an abstract space from which to observe the original architecture now exhibited alongside the owner’s collection of paintings and sculptures.