This boxy house on the shores of Canada celebrates its site and makers

The Sandbox by Halifax-based Peter Braithwaite Studio, a boxy house in Canada’s New Brunswick, celebrates its site and makers

dramatic hero shot of timber boxy house exterior in Canada called The Sandbox
(Image credit: Ema Peter)

This little boxy house, dramatically set on the shores of New Brunswick, Canada, is an ode to timber, its site and its makers. Designed by Halifax-based architects Peter Braithwaite Studio and titled The Sandbox, the project is the home of a local couple who operate and own an excavation business. It was the clients’ contacts in the area’s manufacturing and construction industry that the architecture team, led by practice founder Peter Braithwaite, made the most of and celebrated – alongside the home's chosen material, timber. 

view of seaside boxy timber house in Canada from the water

(Image credit: Ema Peter)

Making The Sandbox

The project gave the architects the opportunity to use 'locally milled timbers and carpenters, tying this build to vernacular processes of the region', the team explain. At the same time, the coming together brought by the collective effort of the construction and the dialogue between architects, clients, makers and the surrounding, small city of Bathurst's residents, inspired a community spirit that has far outlived the building process. 

boxy seaside house in canada called sandbox

(Image credit: Ema Peter)

The home's outline is pared down and seemingly simple – a squarish eastern white cedar wood box, punctuated by the Corten-steel form of a feature staircase that wraps around the upper levels, connecting the two top floors. This straightforward, but quite powerful gesture, along with the Corten steel entrance windbreak, marks the house as unmistakably contemporary among its neighbours. At the same time, a long, winding strip window on the opposite façade creates a geometric play and frames long views of the sea beyond. 

inside timber residential interior with long strip window looking out

(Image credit: Ema Peter)

Inside, an open-plan living space makes the most of the vistas. The collaboration between architect and client is felt here too, as the studio explains: 'The client’s passion for gathering and food inspired the kitchen to be organised around a custom island that acts as the central hearth of the room. Above the kitchen and living area, the master bedroom captures views of the mouth of the bay through another corner wrapped in glazing.' 

Ultimately, the team concludes, 'this New Brunswick home is a reflection of its sandy site outwardly focused to nature.' 

timber kitchen and dining domestic interior

(Image credit: Ema Peter)

timber bedroom interior with large window in dusk light

(Image credit: Ema Peter)

timber residential kitchen interior

(Image credit: Ema Peter)

side view of timber house in canada

(Image credit: Ema Peter) (opens in new tab)

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).