The mandate for this project was to design and prefabricate a boutique hotel that takes full advantage of the surrounding landscape while providing comfortable accommodations for the design-conscious traveler. The Quarterdeck has been an establishment on the south shore of Nova Scotia since the 1930’s, and the Quarterdeck Beach Lofts were designed to coexist with, but also be a counterpoint to, the existing, more traditional villas. The 10,000 square foot building consists of 12 units, perched on a hill overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Summerville Beach Provincial Park. Individual units range between approximately 400 and 800 square feet. Expansive floor-to-ceiling windows frame the spectacular views to create a lens for the landscape while punched-in private terraces extend the indoor space outdoors. Each unit is designed with comfort and privacy in mind. We like to think of them as “sky cottages”.
For efficiency and speed of construction, the building was prefabricated and panelized off-site in a local warehouse. The wall panels consists of 2x4 staggered studs on a 2x8 plate which eliminates thermal bridging and maximizes energy efficiency.
The hotel’s three distinct towers cantilever over a low podium built into the hillside, facing the ocean. Pulled back from the face, and separating each of the three volumes, are two open-air stair cores clad in hemlock slats. These stair cores not only create a lantern effect at night, but also serve as a privacy buffer between the units. The podium, which grounds the whole arrangement, is clad in a dark shou sugi ban rain screen. The upper portion of the building is clad in black metal and hemlock with a semi-transparent charcoal stain. These materials deliver a dramatic juxtaposition against the all-white wood interiors and polished concrete floors, creating a rewarding procession for guests as they approach their rooms. One first proceeds through the exterior hallways and stair cores, which only hint at the dramatic view through the slat walls. Upon entering each south-facing, light-filled loft, horizontal shiplap boards draw the attention immediately out towards an ever-changing coastal landscape.