salvaged brick and locally-sourced timber build 'saanich farmhouse' in canada

Feb 10, 2021

scott and scott architects has realized a contemporary farmhouse within the rural community of north saanich on canada‘s vancouver island. the project was built on the footprint of an old barn, and uses salvaged brick from the demolition and locally-sourced materials from the island. the result is an architectural expression that fits its location and a dwelling that feels like it’s been there for years.

saanich farmhouse

the climate of north saanich benefits from warm summers and mild winters, making it ideal for agriculture. the farmhouse is located on an acreage and within existing established gardens between a grove of mature trees, a pond and rear food gardens. the old barn had deteriorated beyond repair, so the client enlisted scott and scott architects to design a new home on its footprint. the house was designed around the owners’ desire to maintain the pond and restore the unique mix of mature planting while expanding the cultivation of the rear vegetable gardens.

view from the drive

the 2,600 ft2 (250 m2) house is delineated by a masonry wall that extends to create a sheltered kitchen nursery garden. an entry consisting of a cloakroom, water closet, and canning kitchen is accessed from both the front of the house and kitchen garden, providing a durable working transition into the house. the main floor living spaces of the house: kitchen, dining, living and bedroom open out to the southward gardens. large format sliding doors open the home onto a terrace and frame views to the gardens and a mature garry oak.

garden wall

the gable vault structure consists of a series of truss bents of conventional sized douglas fir lumber with exposed solid strip structural decking. this wood structure rests on continuous parallel steel beam headers at the transition to the more intimate dining area and eave protected exterior spaces.

the materials are locally harvested and quarried on vancouver island from small producers that the studio has ongoing working relationships with. the exterior is clad in iron salt-washed yellow cedar shakes and boards which will weather over time. the brick salvaged from demolition and a product of the long-shuttered clay brick foundries in the area. the interior cabinetry was built with locally produced grade cut plywood and pigmented with a blue oil to compliment the douglas fir tones. the grey/blue marble counters are sourced from the hisnet inlet quarry located on vancouver island.

dining room from the terrace

dining room

dining room

dining room

kitchen garden

kitchen garden

view from the rear garden

the farmhouse seen from between the trees

project info:

project name: saanich farmhouse

location: north saanich, BC, canada

architect: scott and scott architects (susan and david scott, ge-nan peng, maxwell schnutgen, ly tang)

engineer: skyline engineering

contractor: rannala freeborn construction

landscaping: botanica design

area: 2,600 ft2 (250 m2)

year: 2020

photography: olivia bull, scott and scott architects

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

edited by: lynne myers | designboom