Architectural Inspo: Point Roberts' Lightbox House

Bold design and natural light give life to a forgotten sliver of America just south of Vancouver, B.C.

The 49th parallel creates the U.S. and Canada boarder. It’s a clean divide. Except for those who live in Point Roberts, Washington, a measly 4.8 square miles of land south of Vancouver, B.C. that jets into the Puget Sound just a hair below the dividing line. The “land exclave” is surrounded by water on three sides, with Canada to the north, and can only be reached by 25 miles of land travel through Canada (or by boat, duh). It’s home to just over 1,000 people, and one stunning glass box of a cabin.

Designed by celebrated design firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson as a home and studio for a photographer and his family, Lightbox draws on the owner’s preference for simple design and unique details, and a need for natural light. A two-story glass “cage” defines the stunning home, creating an atrium-like atmosphere for the ground level living space and one heck of a view for the lofted second floor above it.

Narrow slit windows pepper the building’s less transparent sides—clad in local wood with a traditional Finnish pine tar coating—offering views of the surround old growth fir trees from every room.

As is no surprise, the inspiring design has won many awards since its completion in 2015, yet the greatest achievement may simply be its unique ability to be both contemporary and timeless, while drawing the looming forest in and projecting life out.

Related Reading:
Architectural Inspo: Scandinavian Seaside Holiday Home
Architectural Inspo: Hood Canal Little House
Architectural Inspo: Mendocino County Cluster Cabins
Architectural Inspo: Mount Rainier Home Base