Floating Homes and Forest Dreams with Timber and Concrete

Nestled amidst the majestic Canadian Rockies, there lies a testament to human ingenuity and nature’s splendor. A home that seems to float, suspended between earth and sky, capturing the essence of forest dreams. Crafted with the robustness of concrete and the warmth of timber, this residence is a harmonious blend of modern design and natural beauty.

Architects: Association with Bohlin Grauman Miller ArchitectsBohlin Cywinski Jackson – Photographs:Matthew MillmanNic Lehoux

Timber: The Breath of the Forest

The use of timber in this architectural marvel is not just a design choice; it’s a tribute to the surrounding forests. Each plank, beam, and panel whispers tales of ancient trees, echoing the rhythms of the forest. The grainy texture, the subtle hues, and the organic patterns bring the wilderness indoors, making residents feel they’re in a perpetual embrace with nature.

Incorporating timber into the design serves multiple purposes. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, timber provides insulation, ensuring the home remains cozy amidst the mountain chill. Its versatility allows for intricate designs, from latticed ceilings to paneled walls, each adding a layer of depth to the interiors.

But it’s not just about the interiors. The exterior, adorned with timber, blends seamlessly with the surroundings. It reflects the hues of the seasons, from the golden browns of autumn to the deep greens of summer, ensuring the home is in a constant dialogue with nature.

Furthermore, timber’s sustainable nature ensures that the home is not just a design marvel but also an eco-friendly haven. Sourced responsibly, it stands as a testament to architecture that respects and cherishes its environment.

Lastly, the aging process of timber adds a unique charm. As years roll by, it matures, its colors deepen, and its character becomes more pronounced. It’s a reminder that like nature, homes too evolve, grow, and have stories to tell.

Concrete: The Modern Anchor

Contrasting the warmth of timber is the sleek, cool presence of concrete. In the Kicking Horse Residence, concrete is not just a building material; it’s the anchor that grounds the home amidst the vastness of the Rockies. Its robustness ensures stability, while its modern appeal adds a contemporary touch to the design.

The use of board-formed concrete introduces a textured finish, adding a tactile dimension to the design. It captures the play of light and shadow, creating dynamic patterns that change with the time of day. This interplay brings the walls to life, making them more than just structural elements.

Beyond aesthetics, concrete plays a pivotal role in the home’s energy efficiency. Its thermal mass properties ensure that the interiors remain temperate, absorbing heat during the day and releasing it at night. This natural temperature regulation reduces the home’s carbon footprint, making it eco-friendly.

The strategic placement of concrete, especially in the home’s foundation and lower levels, offers protection against the elements. Whether it’s the snow-laden winters or the rainy springs, the residence remains impervious, thanks to the protective shield of concrete.

Moreover, the juxtaposition of concrete with timber creates a harmonious blend of the old and the new. It’s a dance of contrasts, where the rustic charm of wood meets the industrial chic of concrete, crafting spaces that resonate with diverse design sensibilities.

Nature’s Canvas and Architectural Artistry

The Kicking Horse Residence is more than just a home; it’s where architectural artistry meets nature’s canvas. Every window frame offers panoramic views of the Rockies, turning nature into a living mural. The choice of materials, timber, and concrete, enhances this experience, ensuring that residents feel they’re a part of the landscape.

The design philosophy goes beyond aesthetics. It’s about creating a space that respects its surroundings, draws inspiration from it, and gives back to it. The use of local materials, sustainable practices, and energy-efficient designs ensures that the home treads lightly on the earth.

Every corner of the residence, whether it’s the timber-adorned living room or the concrete-clad patio, offers a unique perspective of the Rockies. It’s a constant reminder of the beauty of nature and the importance of coexisting harmoniously with it.

The home, with its floating design, challenges traditional architectural norms. It’s a bold statement, a testament to the vision of the architects who dared to dream differently. It’s where innovation meets tradition, creating a space that’s both timeless and contemporary.

In the end, the Kicking Horse Residence is not just about timber and concrete; it’s about crafting dreams, floating homes amidst forests, and creating sanctuaries that resonate with the soul of nature.


The Kicking Horse Residence stands as a beacon of innovative design amidst the Canadian Rockies. Crafted with timber and concrete, it’s a home that floats, dreams, and resonates with the rhythms of nature. It’s a testament to the power of imagination, the beauty of nature, and the possibilities that arise when the two converge.