The Twins

The Twins represent a playful homage to traditional architecture in the form of two stripped down volumes that separately embody the 6 year old crayon drawing with a red chimney with squiggly smoke pouring out of it. Set in Caraquet, New Brunswick, Canada, together they form a contemporary beach house designed by YH2 that nods to the past while creating something entirely new.

At first glance its simple exterior forces a wry smile, but a deeper look into the heart of the design reveals a sincerely deep architectural experience fit for a vacation home. A pair of gabled roof forms dominate visually from a distance, giving credence to the name bestowed upon it. They are twins in form, but not in function, like beds pulled apart of an old married couple who just can’t seem to sleep soundly together. They wrap around a central courtyard, and together as three they face outward to a stunning beach view.

It’s almost impossible to talk about the two primary forms separately as they seem hell-bent on being laughed about for their borderline forced differences. One has a black metal roof while the other is white. One has an open glazed front while the other hides behind curtains. It’s like looking at side by side cartoons in the back of the Sunday paper for a mildly amusing game of “how aren’t these alike.”

But architectural satire aside, one can’t help but fall in love with the structure as a whole. The interior functions are so well organized and the setting so properly attended to, it becomes easy to forget the silliness that met you at the front door. The courtyard is a simple division of interior spaces, but acts as a pleasant visual buffer that acts as an extension of conditioned space.

The interior material palette is simple and secondary to the stunning colors provided by nature. White walls and wood clad windows compliment a stark concrete floor, and that’s all that was needed to make the voluminous interiors pop with personality. This type of projects are why architects love their jobs: an opportunity to not take things seriously and deliver a beautiful building void of any and all stuffiness.

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