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Vernacular architecture concerns mostly domestic buildings constructed in isolation from academia, and without the input from a registered architectural professional. Often these structures have a common set of aesthetic characteristic and material applications which are tied to their regional location. British Columbia’s Pacific coastal vernacular architecture (Fig. 1), specifically that observed within the Gulf Islands, is directly tied to the hippy counterculture movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s. During the onset of the Vietnam war, “back to the land” initiatives attracted American draft dodgers in search of a new utopic existence, many of which went on to fulfill lives as master carpenters within the hippy architectural community.1 In 1974, the Islands Trust was implemented and subsequent bylaws, buildings codes, and environmental regulations and have prevented builders from constructing with the ad hoc method that was spurred during the hippy counterculture.2 Th is report will be carried out in two phases. The first will examine the significance of vernacular architecture in British Columbia’s Pacific Coastal Region, while the second will determine a methodology for an architectural practice which is positively influenced by B.C.’s hippy building vernacular. A following design proposal of the domestic scale will then illustrate the potential and application of the proposed methodological framework.
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