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Thormanby Retreat

Thormanby Island is situated near Sechelt, B.C. on the Sunshine Coast. This area contains small oceanfront villages, remote islands, and a backdrop of the dramatic peaks of the Coastal Mountains. The lifestyle in this region is focused on the arts, community and the environment. Building in such an area presents opportunities and challenges, and the design of the Thormanby Retreat responds accordingly.

The retreat features solar panels for electricity and hot water, a roof water collection and storage system, and an elevated floor level supported on a pile foundation designed to minimize impact on the site. The building is situated in a forest clearing high on a steep bluff rising above the ocean and oriented to face the magnificent view of the Strait of Georgia. The aesthetic of the retreat recalls a traditional Japanese farmhouse, which is complemented by the twisted wind-blown conifers found growing on this high promontory.

Designed as a recreational vacation home for two families, the interior has two unique elements: self-contained sleeping units located on either end of the building and sleeping lofts that overlook the main living areas contained within the principal portion of the building. This community oriented design permits multiple uses, from multiple family holidays to small group retreats.