Located in San Juan Island, USA
Designed in Ottawa, Canada at Carleton University.

The Agosta House by Patkau architects is a harmonious meshing of contrasting elements. Circulation, perspectives of the surroundings, and its placement in the meadow at the top of the hill demonstrate how it achieves this by its solid embedding at the precipice. The addition tips the balance between man’s cohabitation with nature towards one where man surrenders to it.

Steps emerge from the grassy field surrounding the house and stack upwards to the top. Nature is no longer dominated by the metal fortress walls of the house. It is gently lead by the gradated steps to begin its reclamation. Views into the valley below are cradled in the arms of the lowest long earth/step and become its extension. Where man enters, a clean cut passage leads downwards into the house and follows the slope of the hill. The climb leads to roof top access, opening for unfettered views and a roof garden space reflection of man’s living below.

Steps prevent wild deer from reaching the garden space as they stay away from the awkwardness of climbing stairs. Limited daylight filters through the variable riser heights and into the sheds below the steps. Slices of light illuminate the space within, shifting with the rising and setting of the sun.