Narrows Residence


Situated along a rocky outcropping that overlooks Back Bay, the Narrows Residence is sited within the culturally rich community of the Terence Bay, Nova Scotia. This small fishing community, located along Nova Scotia’s eastern shore, is made up of rocky cliff faces and rolling hillsides that extend down to the ocean’s edge. It’s along this shoreline you will find modest homes, boat sheds and supply buildings that exemplify an honest and humble vernacular material culture. 

The intended siting of Narrows Residence was to minimize the footprint of the building on the site’s sensitive coastal environment while strategically enhancing the building’s access to the extraordinary site lines towards the Atlantic Ocean. The building’s fenestration was designed with the intention to capture a panoramic view of the rugged coastal terrain while also considering the potential for passive cross ventilation.

The material selection for the residence was selected based on local vernacular precedents. The upper living volume is proposed to be clad entirely of locally sourced and locally milled Hemlock boards. The lower volume’s structural components and envelope will be constructed of carefully detailed and insulated concrete walls that will be scribed to the bedrock in a similar fashion to the vast majority of the local foundations. 

The steel bridge stretching west form the main living volume of this residence is intended to extend the program of the building, both physically and existentially, beyond strictly a residential dwelling and connect the building’s residence with the rugged boulder shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean. The intent is to enhance the sensory experience of the building users within this unique coastal environment by providing an armature through which one will find greater access to the sounds, smells, and views of the ocean environment. The physical construction of this bridge is intended to resemble the long span piers structures and docks that are found scattered along the shoreline of the Terence Bay shoreline.

A simple gable form and a humble material palette reflects our firm's dedication to honoring the vernacular forms and material culture of the place in which buildings reside. The Narrows Residence exhibit all the core values of our firm: a deep appreciation for design ingenuity, dedication to craftsmanship, and commitment to build projects that fully integrate with the local community.

Architecture + Design : Peter Braithwaite Studio Ltd. (Peter Braithwaite, Devin Harper, John Marshall)

Construction: Peter Braithwaite Studio Ltd. (Fall 2018)

Structural Engineer: Andrea Doncaster Engineering Ltd.

Renderings: Ryan Nelson (The Hungry Architect / +visual)

Drawings and Models: Cait Stairs