White Lodge was conceived and created as a gathering space. Nestled into its wooded Whistler site, the retreat offers its owners and their two children a respite from the pull of their daily lives. Here, they gather with friends, share meals and play board games — reconnecting with themselves and each other.
The family required a space comfortable for themselves but able to accommodate guests. The resulting design features open and inviting common spaces on the main level, as well as flexible sleeping quarters in three of the four bedrooms. The building itself is tucked into the hillside, the garage cut into bedrock to blend into the landscape and provide a platform for the upper level, which projects over the garage and driveway. This projection was driven by the practical need to load and unload a car under the protection of an overhang.
We conceived of and created White Lodge to be a place of reprieve for a family – to be together, gather with friends, share a meal, play a board game, slow down and ultimately, allow a chance to reconnect with themselves and each other.”
Situating White Lodge into its sloping site settles its occupants within the landscape, presents a low-slung form to the street and enables the family to walk out at grade on both levels. The home is over 50 per cent smaller than the allowable square footage, and about 60 per cent of the lower level is built into the hill. Spray foam insulation in the walls and in-floor radiant heat reduce energy consumption, and the flat roof is designed to hold the snow to further insulate the building. The black metal cladding and exposed concrete provide a maintenance-free envelope.
Longevity was a key consideration for the clients, who wanted a retreat that would evolve with them. The lower level media room houses the cabin’s TV, perfect for movie night, while the adjacent rec room provides an indestructible option for physical activities on bad-weather days. In coming years, these spaces can be envisioned for a crew of teenagers while their parents socialize upstairs.