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2018 MCHAP

House in Scotch Cove

FBM Architecture and Interior Design

East Chester, Canada

September 2017


Susan Fitzgerald / FBM Architecture and Interior Design


Matt Davis / FBM Architecture and Interior Design (Intern Architect) Shawn Doyle / FBM Architecture and Interior Design (Architectural Technologist) Alicia Gilmore / FBM Architecture and Interior Design (Student Architect) Kaitlyn Labrecque / FBM Architecture and Interior Design (Intern Architect) Danny Goodz / FBM Architecture and Interior Design (Construction Documents) Campbell Comeau Engineering Limited (Structural Engineer) CBCL Ltd. (Mechanical & Electrical Engineer) Vollick McKee Petersmann & Associates Ltd. (Landscape Architect) Brainard Fitzgerald / B D Stevens (Construction Manager)



Julian Parkinson


Consisting of a main house and an out-building containing a dwelling and a workshop, the project understands work, of many types, as an integral part of living. The program of the main house includes two bedrooms; a living space that is a changing gallery that celebrates family artists; space for gathering and games; a kitchen where cooking and canning are multi-generational activities; a large dining area for family celebrations; and a sewing room for elaborate crafts. Centred around evolving family activities the home supports everyday culture that evokes what is best about daily life.


Designed for an active couple in their seventies that will never retire, and their extended grown-up family, this house embraces living well while aging in place. It subscribes to timeless ideals about making good architecture. It is responsive to siting for placemaking while emphasizing light and views. It creates spatial richness within a modest program and budget. Structure is used as an organizer of shelter and space. The architecture combines materials that are climatically and culturally responsive. Lightly sited within a meadow in Scotch Cove in East Chester, Nova Scotia at the edge of the ocean, the dwelling frames the spectacular views of Graves Island and the Tancooks. In conjunction with the out-building a sheltered forecourt is formed for parking cars, washer toss, and croquet. Within the out-building, the second storey dwelling space peeks above the house’s vegetated and metal roofs to capture ocean views.


Sustainability is an integral part of the project by prioritizing local materials and trades. The project operates as a responsive container for living by changing with the evolving family’s needs. Environmentally, the building has overhangs to calibrate solar gain. Thermal mass within the concrete floors absorb winter sun for passive heat. The triple glazing and increased insulation enhance the thermal envelope. While the narrow cross section and high and low operators increase ventilation from ocean breezes.

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