Search
Olson Kundig, Whistler house, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada,

Olson Kundig Gives Us a Gift of Nature in British Columbia

Coated in shiny red paint, the door of this Whistler home’s main entrance is an invitation to step inside the 6,000-square-foot space set in the Coast Mountains of western Canada. Designed by Olson Kundig for a couple and their children, the home acts as a gathering place for the family.

By

Share

In British Columbia, Olson Kundig Designed Home to Preserve the Site’s Beautiful Trees & Withstand the Elements is a Gift of Nature

Coated in shiny red paint, the door of this Whistler home’s main entrance is an invitation to step inside the 6,000-square-foot space set in the Coast Mountains of western Canada. Designed by Olson Kundig for a couple and their children, the home acts as a gathering place for the family.

The main level of the ski retreat, which was built between a lake and a forest, was elevated 10 feet above grade to give the feeling of floating above the snow. In order to prevent any seismic damage, a continuous, 2-foot-thick raft slab was created by a series of vibro-densified rock columns that extend 60 to 68 feet deep into the ground.

Consisting of two separate structures (to preserve the evergreens as much as possible) that are linked by an 80-foot, glass-walled bridge, the house features a flat roof to support snow loads and a custom-designed horizontal shutter system, which serves a dual purpose: to provide privacy for the inhabitants and protect art and upholstery from the harsh natural elements, especially during winter.

“With simple crank and switch controls, the façade can transform from glass to semi-exposed with raw-edged Douglas fir louvers, to completely protected with weathered steel,” says Tom Kundig, principal and owner at Olson Kundig.

The living and dining area—separated from a media room by a two-sided board-formed concrete fireplace—master bedroom and two guest rooms occupy the larger wing while four children’s rooms are located in the smaller wing. Floor-to-ceiling windows help to maximize the views of the mountain lake and forest of firs, hemlocks and aspens; here, nature is the main protagonist.

“If you start with the primacy of the site, everything else becomes a direct response to that particular place,” says Tom Kundig.

“I think it is important not to compete with the landscape—built or natural—and to acknowledge the place of architecture within the larger context.”

The inviting atmosphere was achieved through the use of soft colors, natural materials, and vintage and contemporary pieces of furniture—including a David Weeks Studio chandelier, Arne Jacobsen chair, Piero Lissoni sofa (Living Divani), Hans Hopfer Mah Jong sofa (Roche Bobois) upholstered in Jean Paul Gaultier, long coffee table by Promemoria, Mario Bellini dining chairs (Cassina) and some furnishings designed by Tom Kundig.

“I try to redefine what it means for humans to be in a relationship with architecture,” says Tom Kundig.

“Buildings are never finished…Materials allowed to age naturally are the evidence of time; they display a sense of history and place. In that sense, they are authentic.”

Tom Kundig of Olson Kundig | olsonkundig.com

Photographs: Courtesy Of Benjamin Benschneider

RELATED TAGS

Weave House by The BAD Studio: An Ode to Indian Ikat Patterns

Weave House by The BAD Studio seamlessly blends contemporary design with traditional Indian craftsmanship, creating a harmonious living space inspired by the region's rich textile heritage, the house features an embossed brick and diamond façade reminiscent of Indian ikat patterns. The architecture coexists with the surrounding landscape, offering an organic lifestyle and smooth transitions between indoor and outdoor spaces.
  • November 1, 2023
  • Jenn Thornton

Blurring Boundaries: A Klopf Architecture Mid-Century Modern Marvel

Perched atop a rocky hill in Sonoma, California, Klopf Architecture's latest creation seamlessly marries the essence of mid-century modern design with a contemporary twist. With an astute eye for the indoor-outdoor connection, the architects brought the natural surroundings into the heart of the residence.
  • October 18, 2023
  • Jenn Thornton

A Duplex in the Clouds: Inside Barbara Cartategui’s NYC Transformation

Nestled on the 78th and 79th floors of a Tribeca skyscraper, this New York City duplex boasts breathtaking views of the Statue of Liberty and the city skyline. Transformed by Workshop/APD, the interior is a gallery of contemporary art curated by expert art advisor Barbara Cartategui.
  • September 6, 2023
  • Karine Monié

Walter Gropius & the Enduring Legacy of the Bauhaus

In the early 20th century, architect Walter Gropius aimed to harmonize art, technology, and craftsmanship—a vision that birthed the groundbreaking Bauhaus school in 1919. Gropius's call to unite architecture, sculpture, and painting underpinned the school's ethos. Rejecting tradition, the Bauhaus propelled design and art into a new era, embracing functional forms and interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • August 23, 2023
  • Constance Dunn

The Rebirth of Santa Monica’s Iconic Georgian Hotel

The iconic Georgian Hotel in Santa Monica reopened its doors in April, unveiling a stunning transformation led by Fettle Design. With a rich history that hosted Hollywood legends like Marilyn Monroe, the hotel's restoration, guided by BLVD Hospitality, gracefully balances its storied past with modern hospitality.
  • August 23, 2023
  • Karine Monié

Sterling-Huddleson Architecture’s the Edge Residence in Pebble Beach

The Edge, a stunning contemporary home located in the picturesque community of Pebble Beach, California, is a masterful creation by Sterling-Huddleson Architecture. The result is a breathtaking residence that seamlessly blends advanced building technology and timeless contemporary design.
  • August 23, 2023
  • Jenn Thornton
Sign Up for DIGS Newsletters