• Mon, Oct 15 2007

The Remainder House


This home shows that you can either build right over the trees if they get in your way or work with them in a way that allows people and trees to co-habitat.


I first saw the Remainder House in the book Good Green Homes by Jennifer Roberts and I just loved the story behind it. Architect Don Gurney of Openspace Architecture bought a lot on Bowen Island near Vancouver, British Columbia but had no intention of building green.

Then I guess he was charmed by the beauty of the woods. To add to that he already had a preference for reclaimed wood and a lucky stroke of finding a warehouse that was being razed. All of that together resulted in the Remainder House.

Gurney bought parts of the warehouse and used the reclaimed Douglas fir wood to build almost the entire house (minus framing studs and some floor joists).


The best part of the story was that the land was barely disturbed. 610 square feet on the main floor and 300 more within the loft it’s a perfect size for a small family. When you notice how the home nestles right into the woods you know it was meant to be just that size.

From the Openspace site:

“The house was carefully sited on a tight triangular shaped lot to frame a woodland garden, maintaining the existing trees, minimizing the visual impact to neighbors and maximizing Southern views over the water. All was achieved without removing a single existing tree.”


Talk about bringing the outdoors inside!


Where to go next:

I suggest you visit Openspace Architecture; besides this home they build lots of lovely structures worth checking out.

goodgreenhomes.jpgAfter that make sure you own Good Green Homes by Jennifer Roberts. The book is informative and the photographs by Linda Svendsen are amazing. There are many more photos of the Remainder House to see in the book along with so many more green homes that you’ll faint.

I’d say get the book from the library to save a tree but honestly you’ll wish you just bought it. The first time I got a copy from the library it was three weeks late because I just kept re-reading it.

Don’t forget to check out what other b5media bloggers have to say about the environment today.

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  • http://bakingdelights.com marye

    love this…
    I am so not in to modernism..I much prefer the old houses, victorian or otherwise, but this one is hard to resist with those windows and the view…

  • http://crankyfitness.blogspot.com Crabby McSlacker

    I agree with Marye–this one’s pretty irresistible tucked into the trees like that. Cozy and open at the same time, quite a feat.

  • http://jenfreedom.blogspot.com/ Jennifer Chait

    Crabby! Are you back from vacation? Cool, if you are back I hope you had a great time :)

    Marye, I almost think this home is more old than modern. It doesn’t strike me as so modern but more sort of classic cabin in the woods. But I get you. I like old school too, well, and new school — most homes actually! Duh.

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  • http://www.hankeringforyarn.com Noreen Crone-Findlay

    This is truly wonderful.