Guest Cabin, Bowen Island, B.C.

The owners of this 2.5 acre forested property intend to build the main house when they permanently move to Bowen but, in the interim, wanted a small cabin for their own use prior to the main house being constructed. Zoning rules limited the floor area to approximately 1050 square feet. The site slope and orientation suggested an up-side-down house with the major window areas facing South towards an existing opening in the evergreen forest. Entering at the mid level (large coat closet and powder room), a half flight down takes you to two bedrooms and a spacious bath. Up half a flight from the entry is a “great room” which (from East to West) has a family sized kitchen, dining area and sitting area with an airtight wood stove. The entire South wall is windows and the sitting area also has a large window to the West for afternoon sun. French doors lead on to a South deck that connects to the ground and the forest beyond.

The metal clad roof slopes up towards the South to capture the sun light, especially important during Bowen’s grey winter days. 90% of the metal roof area slopes to one gutter and down spout for future rain water collection and garden use. The cabin form is simple and materials reflect typical Island cladding. Dark brown aluminum (double glazed, thermally broken) windows were used for durability and low maintenance. Interior colours are light to frame the window views out into the dark forest landscape. The siting of the cabin and minimal windows towards the driveway address the need for privacy between the guest cabin and the future main home.