Shor House

  • Prize
    Winner in Architectural Design - Residential
  • Company/Firm
    Measured Architecture
  • Lead Designer
    Clinton Cuddington
  • Design Team
    Piers Cunnington, Patrick Gonzales, James Papa
  • Architect
    Measured Architecture
  • Const. Company
    Powers Construction
  • Photographer Credit
    Ema Peter & Bernardo Rodriguez
  • Location
    Mayne Island, BC, Canada
  • Project Date
    September 2022

Alchemy is the transmutation of a base material into something more valuable. A central principle of the Shor House, a family retreat and artists residency, is a kind of alchemical transformation of dis-used wood obtained from multiple sources. Just as the most energy efficient building is conserving one already built, the most progressive edge of designing with wood is to recycle it into continued use. The project demonstrates that careful deconstruction of wooden buildings, then refinishing their parts into considered assemblies extends the life-cycle of material otherwise destined for landfill. The firm spent years scouting for materials and working with deconstruction specialists to implement this zero-take approach. Much of the recycled wood came from the deconstructed house and barn once sat on this waterfront site, with more coming from a locally dismantled 100 year old railway and dairy farm, adding a legacy of character not to be obtained from any lumberyard. The alchemy of the Shor House is to build from a palette of otherwise discarded materials, shaping a dwelling that is grounded to site in its very materials and the strong historical narratives that adhere to them.