The Anchor House
When considering the reality of building a new home for Clients who are avid travellers, collectors, and family-oriented, as well as a place within the context of Calgary and the recently flooded Elbow River Valley; the concept of ‘anchor’ implies a place which is heavy. Its place in the city, in terms of both architectural intent and material durability will be forever defined. Formed of concrete and glass, its reductive form emerges from the site as though it could have been found there as a quasi-industrial ruin of a former life. Its implied presence is one that spans long into the future and through any circumstance that it is asked to endure. As Calgary is a relatively new city in the global context, the idea of ‘historical’ architecture is somewhat questionable. However, given the robust nature of a home designed as an ‘anchor’, we have the unique circumstance of informing a future history for Calgary’s architecture.
Where the fast and sloppy construction of Calgary’s typical homes will erode into a past, The Anchor House will continue to stand strong, serving as a visual and physical turning point in the city's history to a (hopefully) more responsible, robust, and respectable architectural future.
- Date : 2015
- Size : 4000 - 5000 sqft
- Status : On Hold
- Location : Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Statured in plank-formed concrete, the two-storey front volume protrudes toward the street. Mirrored glazing reflects the heavily treed boulevard back to the street, allowing the house to 'assume' the nature of its context. The plank-formed concrete provides a texture akin to the timber siding of the surrounding houses, allowing the conteporary form of the home to speak to it's past.
Side Elevation + Terraces
Along the South elevation, the house opens up to allow for plentiful natural lighting. A large breakfast terrace over the subterranean garage and the upper private terrace provide greenspace and exterior amenity to otherwise limiting site conditions.
Rear Terrace + Ext. Fireplace
The linear nature of the plan culminates in an additional exterior terrace to the east. Deliniated by large existing Columnar Aspens, the cast concrete fireplace provides a private moment of comfort and relaxation, or an extended exterior dining room.
The limiting site emplored us to find opportunities for greenery and exterior spaces. The private terrace off the master bedroom serves as a private exterior space, as well as a light-well, flooding the upper floor with ample natural light.
Contrasted to the raw and textured concrete walls, the interior finishes are comprised of refined timber and marble.
The large two-storey volume houses an ample living room which overlooks the quiet street and in its upper section, houses a private study.
Open to the double volume and the street beyond, the study provides an area for intense work or relaxing reading.
The living room interconnects with the breakfast terrace to the rear and utilizes large exterior openings to blend interior spaces with exterior amenity. With a swivel-mounted wood burning 'Orb' fireplace, the living room also encompasses a small nook for reading, playing a guitar, or just enjoying a crackling fire.