Mount Tuam

In a 160 acre lot atop Mount Tuam sits this new dwelling. With breathtaking views over the Southern Gulf Islands to the San Juan Islands and Mount Baker beyond, the house is built in the style of a period Scottish tower house, using similar materials and ensuring extraordinary longevity and ease of maintenance. External walls are constructed of very durable metamorphic random rubble ledgestone sourced from Port Renfrew on Vancouver island. All dressings such as quoins, window surrounds, corbels, copestones, etc. are carved from yellow sandstone. Seven gargoyles collect rainwater from the roofs and discharge it onto the rock outcrop on which the building perches and the roof itself is clad in Vermont slate with code 6 lead flashings and watergates. Stone is used liberally inside for flooring, wall components, two staircases (one straight and one spiral), fireplaces, balusters and other architectural features. Where rainwater conductors have been used, these are of cast aluminium imported from Britain. All of the external materials used in the building are reuseable or recyclable. Internally walls are finished in traditional lime render with oak cabinetry.

Minimising impact on the surrounding landscape was crucial. Once the culture of protecting the flora on the site was established, it was wholesomely adopted by the various craftsmen, who went so far as to protect infant plants around the building with wire cages in order to help them gain a foothold in the rocky terrain. The environmental stewardship inherent in the building design and construction extended to the sewage treatment system which utilised a nayadic waste water treatment plant by Wetlands Pacific incorporating peat filters to provide the cleanest possible discharge into the environment.

Inveresk Design Build provided comprehensive design consultancy and construction management services on a separate trades basis.