Located one quarter mile off the Nova Scotia mainland in the spectacular Jeddore Harbour, the 11-acre Vollebak Island will include a 597 m2 ‘Earth House’, which will consist of nine interconnected buildings, and a 88 m2 ‘Wood House’, a standalone garden suite on the island’s eastern shoreline.
Each room in the village is made from its own unique material – stacked seaweed, compacted earth, hemp, glass brick or locally sourced stone – tailored for the specific use and experience of that particular room.
On Vollebak Island, BIG incorporates local tradition elevated by global innovation in a self-sustained manmade ecosystem off the coast of Canada.
Earth House, the village-like cluster of bespoke buildings, will gently rise from the ground at the heart of the island, resembling land art as much as architecture. The permeable layout will create various open spaces for socializing, allowing nature to intertwine with architecture. The structures will represent specific fragments of nature, each intentionally built with a different material and playful elements of surprise interwoven throughout. All buildings are fully powered by carbon neutral energy, offshore wind and solar power with energy stored in Tesla power walls.
Complementing Earth House will be the Wood House annex, a standalone two-bedroom, two-bathroom residence with a durable exterior made entirely of wood from the island, essential for extreme climate conditions. The monolithic façade will be able to open and close toward the seaside, showcasing a vast eight-meter triangular vista over the water.
For recreation, guests will rejuvenate in a Japanesestyle bath house with soaking tubs cut from the stone bedrock or have a first-class view of the galaxy in the sunken hempcrete stargazing room and meditation space. A greenhouse made entirely of glass brick will grow food for the island; energy will be stored in a building with a solar roof and submarine door; and the boat house will honor a local tradition of using regenerative seaweed as insulation. The roofs will incorporate shrubs and other flora to reduce storm- water runoff and ease the burden on sewers and water treatment systems.
Every design detail at Vollebak Island will help to foster the closest possible connection to nature, acting as a curated extension of the island’s organic topography and creating a living environment that blurs the boundaries between inside and out. The beach, the woods, the cliffs, the landscapes and the sunsets will all be part of the house on Vollebak Island.