Pontoon Cove Eco House

Project Description by Allison Holden-Pope, Architect AIBC + Interior Designer + Principal, ONE SEED Architecture + Interiors

Pontoon Cove Eco House projects out from a sloped oceanfront property and culminates in a triangular deck which reaches out above the rocky point below. This sustainable home on Vancouver Island, near Saxe Point in Esquimalt, is designed to exceed Step Code 5, with a heating demand below the Passive House standard, and sufficient solar panels on the roof to hit net zero operating demand. It is a healthy home for our clients and the planet, incorporating materials which are durable, local, non-toxic, low-maintenance, with low-embodied carbon, and recycled content. It treads lightly on the site, creating new pockets of biodiversity and native plantings, with carefully considered and minimal lighting to allow birds, nocturnal animals and sea creatures alike to reclaim a site previously overrun with invasive blackberry bushes.

It truly is an eco-house, and one which balances beauty and pragmatic functionality, in a minimalist design inspired by the site and West Coast Modernism. Pontoon Cove Eco-House has a restrained and modest street front. A moody exterior palette of greys and charcoal stone colours picks up on the tones of rocky site. Local planting and the site topography stand out against the house, as does the warm and inviting entrance. A staggered path winds through the landscape to an intimate courtyard entrance, providing privacy from the street. Through the locally sourced Balsam Fir front door, you enter a bright and airy interior. You are immediately confronted with a framed view of the open concept dining room and open riser stair, and to ocean views beyond, through huge 10’ high by 10’ wide sliding doors.

When viewed from the water and from the outdoor living spaces, the house shows off its warm side with light wood soffits and accents. Large windows show off a warm and bright interior, a welcoming sight on their paddle home.

Overhangs and shading devices are designed carefully to optimize daylighting and solar heat gain in the winter months, while shading the windows and doors in warmer months. With a huge south-facing ocean front exposure, we managed a design that results in only two overheating days per year, without any active cooling according to the PHPP.

Pontoon Cove Eco-House is located in a tsunami zone in Esquimalt, and as such the living spaces are raised above the projected elevation of tsunami water levels, which also helps the home respond to climate change and rising sea levels.

Pontoon Cove Eco House is a modern home perched above the ocean, one in which every square inch has been considered for maximum flexibility and functionality. The design was informed by the stunning lot and a desire to protect the environment by building the healthiest home possible for our clients.

Build In Progress