Builders of the Gulf Islands

Here are pix of homes on two of the Gulf Islands, off the east coast of Vancouver Island. I don’t need to name the islands here, they already get plenty of publicity. There’s been a high level of design, ingenuity, and craftsmanship in this part of the world. For me it was photographer’s wonderland.

Michael Dennis left his job as a professor at UC Medical School in 1980 and moved to B.C. He milled his own posts and beams from timber on his land and built a large and elegant house. It feels a bit like a wooden medeival hall, with light shining on broad-width polished flooringn.

Robbie, who’s retired, lives a very simple life in moss-roofed “Mossy Hollow,” built on a forested hillside and reachable only by trail.

Swann moved to the islands in 1968. He built a house in the ’70s that burned down in 1985, so rebuilt it on the same spot. He and his wife, (prolific) artist Sudasi Gardner live and work in this light-filled colorful home.

Bedroom. Quilts, pillows, art on walls all by Sudasi.

Bathroom infused with light

Driftwood house built on a remote beach on Denman Island by John Moreland in the ’70s.

Architect Michael McNamara built his own house in 1971. It has good vibes and a good fung-shui feel and is sited in a grassy meadow and surrounded by gardens.

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

3 Responses to Builders of the Gulf Islands

  1. Hi Lloyd, Sorry I missed your visit up here. I am a close friend of Fox and Margret and Jack and Monica. I used to live in Palo Alto for 3 years on Homer Lane with my buddy Norman Linke. I worked at Stanford. Lived next door to Dick Alpert. We played in a band for awhile called "anonomous artists of america", I remember Stuart driving around in his old VW bus. I now live near Cumberland and spend a lot of time sailing around these parts, playing music and doing some painting. I am hoping you are coming back up here soon. Great Blog!
    By the way the 2nd to last picture on your blog of the beach house was built by John Moreland who lived on Denman Is. about 30 years ago. He had a theater group called "Manfrog Circus" which I performed in also about 30 years ago.

  2. Hi. Great stuff. I just want to remind you that Southern BC is not the "NORTHWEST"
    and I'd appreciate it if you somehow grow to understand this.

    Southern BC is the Southwest of Canada. The Northwest is an area of the United States
    around the State of Washington.

    Thanks, eh

  3. Truman. from Wikipedia:
    "The Pacific Northwest is a region in western North America bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and, loosely, by the Rocky Mountains on the east. Though no universally agreed upon boundary exists, a common conception includes the U.S. states of Oregon, Washington, and the Canadian province of British Columbia. Broader conceptions reach north into Alaska and Yukon, south into the coastal and mountainous regions of Northern California, and east into Idaho and western Montana, western Wyoming, and western Alberta, to the Continental Divide. Narrower conceptions may be limited to the Northwestern U.S. or to the coastal areas west of the Cascade and Coast mountains. The variety of definitions can be attributed to partially overlapping commonalities of the region's history, geography, society, and other factors.…"

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