Houses Made of Wood and Light celebrates architect Hank Schubart’s remarkable homes on the Pacific West Coast, particularly on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia, Canada. His architecture and contribution to the vibrancy and uniqueness of this community is still felt today.
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 offered Schubart a place to create the kind of architecture that responded to its surroundings, and Schubart-designed houses populate the island. Built of wood and glass, suffused with light and oriented to views, Schubart’s houses display characteristic features: random-width cedar siding, exposed beams, and rusticated stonework.
Houses Made of Wood and Light introduces the reader to Schubart’s story, from his time as one of the youngest apprentices at Wright’s newly created fellowship program, Taliesin, to his time on Salt Spring Island. In between, he was present when California Modernism was founded and became a master of that style during his time in San Francisco. This book chronicles Schubart’s growth as an architect. But ultimately it was Schubart’s strong political opposition of the Vietnam War that prompted his move to Canada and Salt Spring Island which became not only a political haven for Schubart, but also a community where his creative practice would become an enduring legacy.