House by House
by Lloyd Kahn
By the time I saw Lloyd House's "Leaf House," then the sauna he built, I realized he was the builder of my dreams. He did things I'd never seen a builder do. He was tuned deeply into his materials and surroundings, and there was joy and wit in addition to master craftsmanship. Here was a builder able to carry through on his own designs to the last detail. His creations took my breath away. When I came upon the sauna, I was stunned.
By the time I met him, I'd seen a number of his buildings. I didn't know what to expect. I gathered from people that he had his own unique way of looking at the world. And there was the slightly cosmic fact that when I find the numero uno builder in all my years of photographing houses, his name is not only Lloyd, but Lloyd House (the latter his family name).
By then he was living in Courtenay on Vancouver Island, and I met him for breakfast at a cafe on a sunny morning. We sat down, and he said he was going to talk about himself in the third person, so he'd be telling me his story objectively. Uh, well, OK. He had a pile of photos, and started in: "He started working as a carpenter in Vancouver in 1952..." "He came out to the small island in 1967 and started working, etc..." This wasn't without its amusement, as when I'd ask, "Well, what did you — I mean, what did he do next..."
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This article is excerpted from Builders of the Pacific Coast by Lloyd Kahn, copyright © 2008, with permission of the publisher, Shelter Publications.
The Stefan Doll House on Hornby Island, British Columbia, was designed and built by master craftsman Lloyd House.
Photo: Lloyd House
A long, south-facing living space was the focal point of Doll's House.
Photo: Lloyd Kahn
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