Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Honored with AIA Housing Award


Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Honored with AIA Housing Award

Seattle, WA (May 21, 2018) – The Bear Stand Residence, designed by architecture firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (BCJ), is the recipient of a 2018 Housing Award from the American Institute of Architects. Now in its 18th year, the program was established to recognize the best in residential architecture and promote the importance of good housing as a necessity of life. This year, 11 projects were honored in four categories, including One/Two Family Custom Housing, One/Two Family Production Housing, Multifamily Housing and Special Housing.

Located approximately three-hours northeast of Toronto, Ontario, the Bear Stand is a 3,300-square-foot retreat situated along the shores of Contau Lake on a remote, seasonally isolated woodland. Recalling childhood adventures exploring the surrounding lakes and forest, clients Sharon Leece and Joe Magrath wished to share this unique place with their young daughter as an escape from urban living in Shanghai—their primary residence. The couple regularly share the retreat with family and friends, and offer it as a vacation rental when in Shanghai.

“We wanted to build a West Coast-style property, as we love the open, airy, inside-outside connectivity of the modernist design approach there,” said Leece. “We felt the land was the perfect place to envision an authentic cabin aesthetic, visually connected with the environment.”

The two-story house is laid out east to west, with a double-height living room anchored by a locally sourced granite fireplace. Circulation is located along the south side of the building, with a stair leading to an upper level dedicated to sleeping. The master suite encompasses a private wing to the south, with a bath outfitted with soaking tubs that open to views of the 100-acre site.

The residence offers three guest suites, a bunk room with four beds and a den, accommodating a minimum of 12 guests. Outdoor amenities such as a private sauna, ofuro soaking tub, hot tub, and screened porch allow immediate enjoyment of the surroundings within comfortable reach of the interior space. The arrangement of the spaces was designed to accommodate the needs of rental guests and yet also be comfortable should the family ultimately choose to use it as a place to retire.

“Our initial site visit with Sharon and Joe was spent tent camping on the property over several days in late summer, gathered around a campfire, sharing meals, hiking the land,” said BCJ principal Robert Miller. “The time spent during the visit was invaluable in helping us understand the family’s needs and vision for the house.”

This year’s Housing Awards jury included Victor A. Mirontschuk, FAIA, (Chair) EDI International, PC; Katie Gerfen, ARCHITECT; Luis Jauregui, FAIA, Jauregui Architecture Interiors Construction; Adrianne Steichen, AIA, Pyatok Architects; and John Thatch, AIA, Dahlin Group Architecture Planning.

About Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, founded in 1965, is noted for elegant and humane design, ranging from modest houses to large academic, civic, cultural, and corporate buildings. Known for its significant contributions to the American architectural landscape, the firm has been a pioneer of modern retail and workplace design, including award-winning work for Adobe, Apple, Pixar, Square, and Twitter. The firm has designed academic buildings for Carnegie Mellon University and the University of California, among others; cultural gathering spaces such as the Frick Environmental Center, Grand Teton Discovery & Visitor Center, and Manetti Shrem Museum; the Ae’o residential tower for Howard Hughes Corporation; and city halls in Seattle and Newport Beach, Calif.

© Nic Lehoux