Water's edge home by architect Nils Finne

This home by Nils Finne connects to the environment

Presenting a ringside seat to a scenic canal, architecture, cottage, estate, facade, home, house, landscape, property, real estate, siding, black
Presenting a ringside seat to a scenic canal, this contemporary house includes an almost fully glazed one-and-a-half story great room. The rest of the home has a two-story configuration. Architect Nils Finne designed the house as a composition of planes that ensures all interior spaces feel connected to the environment. Broad overhangs with cedar soffits screen filtered light into the interiors the effect is much the same as a covered porch.
Architect Nils Finne explains this home's connection to the natural environment.

Remember that feeling of just sitting and swinging out on the screened porch that luxury of being close to nature, yet at the same time protected from it? This contemporary residence incorporates a dramatic, upscale equivalent.

On this project, the request from the client to architect Nils Finne was for a home that would open up to the spectacular canal-side setting and offer hassle-free, low-maintenance exteriors.

Beyond these points the wishlist was fairly wide open, says Finne.

"The home is set along a high bank, with wonderful views of the water. The design is a relaxed composition of interlocking planes, led by a large public space that includes open-plan kitchen, dining and living areas. Attached to this, the more private two-story volume is home to bedrooms and separate his-and-hers offices.

"The principal one-and-a-half story volume combines 12ft-high glass walls with 8ft x 8ft sliding glass doors that open to a slightly raised deck in the summer months for a seamless indoor-outdoor flow," says Finne. "The effect from the interior is much like that of being under an expansive porch sheltered from the wind and rain but at the same time connected with the water and woodlands.

Metal siding in two profiles creates a visual architecture, cottage, facade, farmhouse, home, house, landscape, property, real estate, roof, tree, brown
Metal siding in two profiles creates a visual rhythm that accentuates the verticality of this waterfront house designed by architect Nils Finne. Extended roof overhangs play a large part in the passive control of the indoor environment in all seasons.

"Broad overhangs help filter the light flow into the interiors, creating a soft ambiance, that again is reminiscent of a partly shaded porch."

The maintenance-free exterior comprises glass, metal sidings, and aluminum windows and doors. The metal has two distinct profiles, arranged to achieve an alternating pattern.

Finne also introduced touches of wood to the exterior to connect with the surroundings.

"The decks are in ipeª, a Brazilian hardwood, which will silver gracefully over time," says the architect. "And a rich-toned cedar was used for the soffits, bringing vibrancy to the design. The sheltered location protects them from the direct effects of the weather."

While the canal side of the home opens to the scenery, the extent of the connection is not immediately apparent from the front door. Views are revealed gradually on moving past a glass entry and into the living area.

The stairway to the master suite is beside architecture, ceiling, floor, handrail, hardwood, home, house, interior design, living room, real estate, stairs, wall, window, orange, brown
The stairway to the master suite is beside the front entrance of this waterfront house designed by architect Nils Finne. The treads extend proud of the wall, creating a crisp geometric pattern.

The interior finishes are simple and refined. Ipeª hardwood flooring connects with the decking; however the floors are treated and sealed so they won't color with age. Douglas fir is used on trim and doors, with vertical elements creating an immediate relationship with the bare tree trunks beyond the windows.

"The kitchen anchors the living spaces in material terms," says the architect. "Zebrawood, with its dramatic vertical striped grain, is used on the front and back of the island and on the faces of the cabinetry on the rear wall. The ends of the island are in mahogany, for a more understated look. The zebrawood appears again as treads on the stairway leading up to the master bedroom. The kitchen also features quartz and limestone countertops, chosen for appearance and durability."

The house has several sustainable features, including 2in x 8in timber framing, which allows for 40% more insulation capacity than 2in x 6in builds. The generous glazed areas admit natural light and provide passive ventilation, while the large overhangs provide protection from the sun and rain. The metal siding is in recycled steel for long-term durability, while a sophisticated heat pump system maximises energy efficiency. Interior finishes, besides wood, include linoleum floors, low-VOC paints and natural wool carpets in the bedrooms.

"The form of the house makes a contribution to sustainability, too," says Finne. "Although the home has a large-scale impact, its footprint is a relatively modest 2800sq ft. This helped keep the material costs down, moderates energy needs and effectively gives the house a more human scale."

Credit list

Architect and interior designer
Cabinet company
Niagara Woodworks
Nu-Wave corrugated Zactique II
Doors and windows
Ipê hardwood, untreated
Bruck; Resolute
Living room lounge chairs by B&B Italia; custom glass coffee table designed and fabricated by Nils Finne; custom area rug designed by Nils Finne and fabricated by Dorje
Cambria quartz
Elkay in stainless steel
Rob Gruye
Structural engineer
Swenson Say Faget
12in standing seam, Zactique II from AEP Span
Ipê hardwood
Paints and varnishes
Benjamin Moore; Sikkens
Forced-air heat pump
Kitchen cabinetry
Custom zebrawood panels with mahogany end panels
Tile by Ann Sacks
Blanco Purus

Story by: Trendsideas

31 Jan, 2014

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