Mitchell-DeCario House

Mitchell-DeCario House in Galiano Island, Canada by Stephanie Forsythe Todd MacAllen Architecture, 1998

The following text and images are by Stephanie Forsythe Todd MacAllen Architecture for their design of the Mitchell-DeCario House on Galiano Island, British Columbia, Canada.

This long narrow house consists of a series of rooms arranged along a hallway which has a gallery on one side and a library on the other. Following the shape of a natural stone plinth, the house is slightly kinked. The shape is perceived in the gallery/hallway as a transition from the public spaces of the house to the private areas. The kink also affects views and the way south light enters.

Sunlight bounces off wood and white plastered surfaces and renders soft indirect light onto the artwork. Ever shifting splashes of reflected color (yellow, blue, green, pink and violet from the sky, trees and wild flowers) also light the walls and floors, depending on the time of day and season.

The douglas fir timbers which make up the exposed roof structure and cladding boards were hors- logged and milled on site. The timbers exposed to the interior effectively moderate indoor moisture levels. The yellow cedar floor, salvaged from a local demolished tennis court, was also machined on site. Its polished, butter-like color reflects a warm sunlit glow, even on overcast days. The large dining table and interior doors were also made from salvaged lumber.