Houses Made of Wood and Light
The Life and Architecture of Hank Schubart
This sumptuously illustrated volume about architect Hank Schubart and the island community he helped to create in British Columbia explores how this West Coast modernist used the ideas of Frank Lloyd Wright to design houses in which nature flows seamlessly into architecture.
American architect Hank Schubart was regarded as a genius for finding the perfect site for a house and for integrating its design into the natural setting, so that his houses appear to be as native to the forest around them as the trees and rocks. Salt Spring Island, one of the Gulf Islands in British Columbia, Canada, offered him a place to create the kind of architecture that responded to its surroundings, and Schubart-designed homes populate the island. Built of wood and glass, suffused with light, and oriented to views, they display characteristic features: random-width cedar siding, exposed beams, rusticated stonework. Over time, Schubart’s homes on Salt Spring Island came to be considered uniquely Gulf Islands homes.
This inviting book offers the first introduction to the life and architecture of West Coast modernist Henry A. Schubart, Jr. (1916–1998). While still in his teens, Schubart persuaded Frank Lloyd Wright to accept him as a Taliesin Fellow, and his year’s apprenticeship in the master’s workshop taught him principles of designing in harmony with nature that he explored throughout the rest of his life. Michele Dunkerley traces Schubart’s career from his early practice in San Francisco at the noted firm Wurster, Bernardi & Emmons, to his successful firm with Howard Friedman, to his most lasting professional achievements on Salt Spring Island, where he became the de facto community architect, designing more than 230 residential, commercial, educational, and religious projects. Drawing lessons from his mentors over his decades on the island, he forged an everyday architecture with his mastery of detail and inventiveness. In doing so, he helped define how the island could grow without losing its soul. Color photographs and site plans display Schubart’s remarkable homes and other commissions.