Weekend Cabin: Vancouver Island, British Columbia

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When David and Susan Scott built their first project after setting up their own architectural shop, they chose a place on Vancouver Island where “the mountain is a poorly guarded secret which anyone would fall in love with at first sight due to its incredible terrain and snow and the committed friendly locals that run it.” But that doesn’t mean we’re going to spill the beans. If you go all the way to this little corner of one of the coolest spots in the world, I’m sure you’ll find it — but you’ll have to do it on your own.

And maybe you’ll stumble across their 1,000-square-foot labor of love made of local, rough-hewn timber. It’s a fitting showpiece for the direction that the Scotts are taking after 12 years of working for other firms in Vancouver — light on the land, in tune with the surroundings, constructed mostly with locally sourced materials (90 percent Vancouver Island, 100 percent B.C.), and, in this case, reflective of the simple joy they feel when powder boarding.

The cabin was pieced together with a small army of friend-volunteers and sits on a quarter-acre just a stone’s throw from a local t-bar. To keep impact low, the structure was elevated, not excavated, and it’s fully off the grid. Heat comes from a wood stove salvaged in Vancouver, and the plumbing runs into a tank that’s emptied annually. And power? There isn’t any.

“We intended to have solar,” said David, “but are pretty happy with candles and kerosene.”

With a cabin like this, of your own vision and labor, with fresh tracks nearby, how could you not be happy?

Architect: Scott & Scott Architects

Weekend Cabin isn’t necessarily about the weekend, or cabins. It’s about the longing for a sense of place, for shelter set in a landscape…for something that speaks to refuge and distance from the everyday. Nostalgic and wistful, it’s about how people create structure in ways to consider the earth and sky and their place in them. It’s not concerned with ownership or real estate, but what people build to fulfill their dreams of escape. The very time-shortened notion of “weekend” reminds that it’s a temporary respite.

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