In the picturesque foothills between Calgary and Banff lies 650 acres of rolling hills, lakes, grassy hillsides, and unfurling woodlands. The area is now home to 44 lots and the future sites of unique architectural designs. This is Carraig Ridge, a responsible housing community where residents each have their own one- to five-acre slice of scenic heaven, but contribute as a faction to preserve and collectively own the remaining 500 acres of parkland.
The community is the brainchild of property developer Ian MacGregor. He selected Seattle-based firm Olson Kundig, New York–based studio Young Projects, and Canadian-born architect Todd Saunders’ Norwegian firm Saunders Architecture to design the quiet retreats.
Saunders was certainly the right choice for the first break of land. He has a knack for celebrating sheltered lands with unintrusive designs. His portfolio includes the Fogo Island Inn: bare, refined artists’ studios perched atop pilotis on Newfoundland Island. His six alphabet-inspired Edge Houses are part of Phase I of Carraig Ridge, each mirroring the geometric form of its linguistic counterpart. Each home is a response to the individual plot it stands on, and each has its own private park feel—a sui generis of sorts.
I House is the simplest of the five designs. It comprises a rectilinear residence with subtle diagonal accent decks and expansive glass walls. O House’s design includes three decks and a shielded central courtyard. T House is a minimalist’s dream, with an expansive main deck tucked along one wing. In V House the garage and guest wing reach away from the west-facing master wing, which is complete with a mountain-viewing deck. And lastly, Y House opts for a gathering-centric feel, with the living room at the heart of the design.
Each design put forward by the selected firms will have a minimal environmental footprint, something that was very important to MacGregor, whose family has been based in the Banff area for over 60 years. His goal was to develop the sensitive land in a way that felt appropriate and contemporary. MacGregor underscored that his vision for the community was to look forward to the future, tread lightly on the outstanding grounds of Carraig Ridge, and be careful in choice—nothing too big, nothing that doesn’t fit.
Carraig Ridge stands as a shining example of wilderness celebration and an escape from the sprawling city development of nearby Calgary. And while some may draw parallels to acreage communities nearby, this development truly combines conservation with innovation. One need only look out towards the adjacent Ghost Lake and Ghost River, walk or bike along the many kilometres of ready trails, or have a welcome encounter with the myriad Alberta wildlife in the area to confirm its singularity: a balance of backcountry beauty and remarkable architecture.
Are you ready to wake up to stunning views and award-winning modern design? Browse listings in Carraig Ridge and contact a qualified REALTOR to claim your slice of heaven.