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atrium modern

build date : 1997
contemporary style built on natural rock outcrop



This stunning contemporary styled home is located on a gently sloping hill overlooking Okanagan Lake in Kelowna BC. The owners wanted this to blend in with the natural elements of the property - the main feature being an exposed rock outcrop that runs through the centre of the house. 

The entry opens into a large glass atrium which covers the rock outcrop. It is filled with luscious plants including a 18ft high tree. Large cantilevered douglas-fir wood stair treads were designed to form the dynamic staircase up to the main level. Extensive use of natural stone is used both in the interior as well as exterior. All of the stone used for this came from a small amount of blasting that was required to get deeper into the site on the non-exposed side. To complete the natural feel of the building elements 4-5inch flagstone was used to create a somewhat uneven but very natural looking floor finish in the entrance way and lower atrium space. Sitting in the atrium you really feel you could be in an outside space.

The house is designed on a 24inch grid system that provides subliminal order to the layout. Note how the corners of walls are located to line up exactly with the corresponding complimentary corners above. Clean, simple geometry that makes for a precise architectural statement that is pleasing to the eye and shows interesting shadow formations. The exterior soffits are rough sawn cedar strips with small spacing between for ventilation. The design offers several locations for the owners to enjoy the sun and shade at various times of the day. Originally the house was located in a dense forest - most of which was destroyed in the Okanagan Mountain Park fire of 2003. Thankfully the house was spared.

Elegant and well proportioned this is one of our signature homes and is an example of a design that we consider to be "timeless".


CREDITS: Main Contractor - Wolf Homes (Wayne Wolf)



the natural rock outcrop forms the central focus of the house with abundance of natural light coming in from the large glass atrium feature


The house is nestled into the natural surroundings. Great care during building phase was taken to preserve the surrounding flor and fauna so that the new home would appear like it had always been there. All the stonework used in the house was taken from the small blasting that was needed to create some under ground space for the garages and service rooms.


View of sun patio and atrium corner with feature wall forming a dynamic link from the entry side of the house to the somewhat secluded patio to the south.


All the natural rock and surrounding vegetation was kept in it's natural state


Main entry to the home


Custom front door built from reclaimed Douglas Fir


Front entry. Note how the paving has been cut and matched inside to outsode where the glass panels are level with the floor surface. Note also the rough stone finish to the entry interior - keeping this as natural as possible to reflect the drama of the atrium feature above. The stone floor was also custom crafted and cut from the blasting from the site and is about 4 - 5 inches thick.


Panoramic views from well appointed kitchen and breakfast area


Covered patio overlooking side of atrium roof


Note the careful detailing of the open pergola surrounding the atrium. This was designed so that landscaping like the wisteria would cover this and make the building appear to be part of it's natural suroundings


Simple gargoyle feature and downspout chain


The house is all designed on a grid system which creates strong geometric shapes and forms. Great care was taken to make sure that inside corners of overhangs lined up prcisely with exterior corners of walls below. In doing so te design creates great visual when the sun plays down on the various surfaces and creates what we call "light triangles".

good geometry creates good architecture


for more information about this home click on the links below:-

front door


front entry







Richard Hewitt is proud to have been recognized in the field of excellence and his work has achieved local and international awards



website designed by richard hewitt