The Kadenwood residence at the Whistler Mountain ski resort in British Columbia was built with concrete roof cantilevers to help manage heavy amounts of snow. The home’s designers used four kinds of structural thermal breaks to prevent thermal bridging and to insulate the concrete.



Perched on the hillside of Whistler Mountain—one of North America’s top ski resorts—the 20,000 sq. ft. (1,800 sq. m) Kadenwood residence complies with stringent energy efficiency and seismic requirements.

Its footprint is a four-sided polygon with sweeping views of coastal mountains and alpine lakes. The four-story ski-in/ski-out structure features an elevator that transports occupants from the entry-level to the ski slopes 50 ft. (15 m) below. The top three stories have year-round accommodations for the homeowners and separate suites for three other families.

The building is a study in concrete

Te building is a study in concrete cantilevers reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water, whose cantilevers appear to float above a waterfall. “We wanted to cantilever the top two floors over the ski slopes and toward the views, so that when in the house you felt you were floating in the clouds,” explains senior technologist Eric Pettit of the Vancouver, B.C. architecture firm Openspace.

When Kadenwood construction began, he says that building codes in Canada encouraged the use of structural thermal breaks to mitigate thermal bridging, and with the current BC Energy Step Code, the building would have to include them to meet the high energy performance target.