Clam Bay Farm on Pender Island

3200 Clam Bay Rd, Pender Island, BC V0N 2M1, Canada

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Presenting the offering of an architecturally significant home on North Pender Island – the Point House by notable West Coast Modern architects Bo Helliwell and Kim Smith of Blue Sky Architecture. This exquisite waterfront home is situated on a 105 acre estate on North Pender Island. The estate overlooks Navy Channel and faces towards the sun-illuminated mountains of Mayne Island. The property includes a sustainable farm, the shoreline of Davidson Bay, a fifty foot dock, an idyllic pond, and acres of untouched old-growth forest.

The house is reached by traveling down a narrow road on the west side of the property, twisting through a mature forest. After meandering around the final bend and down a gentle slope, the home’s site is found at a vantage point jutting into the Salish Sea. The Point House sits where the land flattens out to a meadow, surrounded by Fir, Arbutus and Maples. The home was conceived and shaped by its dramatic site and formed to capture light and views following Blue Sky Architecture’s design principles.

01. The Design Philosophy

Blue Sky Architecture designs spaces in a way that is rooted in place, inspired by curiosity, responsive to natural forces and which seeks physical, emotional, and spiritual connections between people and places. Their defining characteristic is their use of curved lines and organic forms. On the principle that there are very few straight lines and boxes in nature, Blue Sky designs with fluid and nonlinear forms. Their homes integrate with landscapes and produce sensual and embracing spaces, breaking down barriers between environment and built form.

Additionally, Blue Sky designs homes with the unique environment of the Pacific Northwest in mind. They seek guidance from the site for a sense of place, letting the lines of the land guide the building forms. They capture light, recognizing that in the often grey-skied Pacific Northwest, natural light is essential. They also design for all seasons and weather, celebrating the coastal rains rather than resisting them. Their fluid designs gather and direct rainwater, integrating it into the essence of the house.

02. The Magnificent Point House

The remarkable 7,000 square foot Point House follows the curve of the shoreline, optimizing views north and east. The south elevation opens to the sun and a landscaped entry court. Entering at the centre of the home, an indoor/outdoor space divides the plan into social and family spaces on one side, with guest and service spaces on the other. A study space on a second floor provides a private working space with spectacular vistas to the sea and forest.

Spaces in the home are focused on sea views and are formed by undulating rooflines. The roof construction is Douglas Fir glulam rafters set at prescribed heights to create organic curving roofs, finished with 2×6 Fir decking bent into place. The curves of the roof gently direct rainwater in streams to capture points in the ground below. Fine wood craftsmanship by Dave Dandeneau of Gulf Island Artisan Homes is featured throughout.

The living room and dining room are a large, open, arched space. They focus on the spectacular Gulf Island views. Here, the natural materials, structure, and superb craftsmanship are brought into focus. These soaring spaces are articulated by a curving beam held by a shaped fir column and anchored by a large split-granite fireplace.

Secondary spaces are contained under a low slope roof on the forest side of the home. Above this lower roof and the hallway, continuous clerestory windows provide cross ventilation, natural light for the halls, and balance the light in the main spaces.

Interior floors are finished with wide plank European White Oak and Pietra Piasentina stone tiles. All bathrooms have Pietra Piasentina stone detailing. All doors are custom made from wide planks of European White Oak. Interior walls are finished with lime paint, rendering them with a soft suede-like look. To complement the Fir window detailing and structural components, all trims are done with clear Fir.

Exterior walls are a combination of conventional frame and timber framing. The exterior finish is red cedar shakes, stone and glass. Inviting the outside into the home, the entrance area and outdoor room are accented by a large pivot door, and clear red cedar walls with copper-strip details.

Great care was taken to shape the form of the building. It is both dynamic and gentle, and always changing as one walks through and around the building. The house sits very naturally, conforming to the lines of the forested hill, the Point, and the sea.

03. The Idyllic Waterfront

The property encompasses the vast majority of Davidson Bay (charted name), known as Clam Bay by Pender Island locals. With just under 1 kilometer of shoreline, complete seaside serenity is provided to the property’s resident. The shoreline ranges from the rocky cliffs and tidal beach below the Point House to the fluvial delta at the east of the bay.

Most notably, the estate has its own commercial-grade 50 foot dock at the end of a 260 foot pier jutting out through the shallows into the deeper waters of Davidson Bay. The dock can support a vehicle traveling its length – perfect for arrival by boat or seaplane. With waters ranging from 17 to 30 feet tidally, the property’s dock is suitable for most power and sail boats as summer moorage.

04. The Historic Farm and Vineyard

Established in 1874, the 105 acre estate is home to the fully operational “Clam Bay Farm” sustainable organic farm. This historic sanctuary includes the farm, a vineyard, acres of untouched old-growth forest, a sawmill, a water treatment plant, and a powerful generator. The farm’s buildings include the original farm house, a gazebo, a guest/farmworker accommodation building, a sizable barn, a caretaker’s cabin, and a beach house. The property is capable of operating completely self-sufficiently from the island’s services.

The centerpiece of the farm section of the property is the pond and gazebo. Full of water lilies and encircling a grand fountain, the pond provides a haven for quiet enjoyment on the property. Seasonally, Canada Geese and Mallard Ducks make the pond their home. A pleasant cedar Gazebo, currently set up as an exercise room, overlooks the pond.

The 5.5 acre vineyard is leased to Sea Star Winery and planted with Ortega, Pinot Noir, and Siegerrebe. The remainder of the planted farm produces Haskap berries, plums, apples, and pears, with the Haskap berries sold to Twin Islands Cider. The farm features ample open pasture land that is suitable for expanded planting or as grazing pastures for animals.

05. The Serenity of the Island

The Point House Estate is a truly incomparable place. Spending time on the property makes the rest of the world seemingly disappear. Its residents and visitors can spend hours hiking through magnificent mature forest and wandering along the shoreline. The air is fresh and full of birdsong. It has a distinctive, enlivening, marine scent from the northwesterly breezes that whisper through the channel. On land, deer, eagles, geese, ravens, and crows make the property their home. On the water, otters, seals, sea lions, porpoises, and shorebirds can be spotted daily. On frequent occasions, the mighty orca whales and humpback whales can be witnessed traveling and hunting through the channel.

The property offers a transcendental experience at all times of day. At sunrise, golden morning light gently awakens the primary bedroom’s resident. The light illuminates the arbutus trees at the water’s edge, their bark glowing a brilliant red and leaves glowing the most vibrant shade of green. Dappled sunlight touches every part of the property, melting dew off of the vines and trees. At night, millions of stars emerge glittering above the inky water. During the heat of August, bioluminescence is found glistening with movement in the sea below. Evenings are best enjoyed on the dock where silence is only interrupted by the gentle lapping of waves.

The Point House Estate awaits its next keeper to enjoy its enduring beauty.

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https://youriguide.com/3200_clam_bay_rd_pender_island_bc/

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