Apachitowin is Cree for helping one another or mutual benefit and would become the residence’s namesake. At the core of the design is the unusual program of a mother and her son building a home together. It will be her permanent retirement home and his part-time/vacation property. Conceived as a pair of modern cabins in the woods, the program is expressed as two simple rectangular living units. Each unit is constructed of a series of Douglas Fir glulam arches, which create an open column free plan. The living units are linked by a lower volume, which houses shared service spaces as well as a common entrance through a cover front porch. This passive solar house has been oriented to ensure expansive areas of South facing glazing, with minimal Northern clerestory windows. Each living unit will have access to private decks as well as a central common deck and fire pit. The residence has a muted, natural material palette, with the living units clad in a weathering steel panel and the common link and garage clad in a charcoal fiber cement panel.
The interiors are simple, almost completely open plans with furniture and floor coverings being used to define space. As a retirement home, the interiors have been planed to ensure barrier free access. Radiant heating is provided within the polished concrete floors, and a pair of Cast iron wood stoves, which anchor the living spaces in each unit. The concrete floor also acts as a thermal mass, absorbing the sun’s energy during the cold winter months. A series of custom modular millwork cabinets allow for future flexibility and reorientation of functions within the open floor plan.
The architect of record is Stantec. Architecture with Richard Limmert in the roles of Principal in Charge and Design Architect.