Franklin Residence - "Quietude" - A Mandala - Built in 1999

The Program:

To design and build a furnished residence for a single person within a severely limited budget of $28,000 Cdn. complete, that at the same time had the spirit to exalt the human soul.

This was accomplished by analyzing the home functions and distilling these to the essentials in philosophy and fact with sustainable and healthy architecture.

The Evolvement of Form:

The essentialized home functions sorted themselves into distinct areas, the central of these was the quiet and soul of the home, the spirit/living room. Around this center developed four well defined areas:

  • Outside Porch and Entrance
  •  Kitchen/ Dining
  •  Sleeping
  •  Bathroom/ Utility

This plan arrangement seemed obviously mandalic in form which was then utilized for it's geometric order to simplify in a repetitive fashion, the actual construction.

A small basement under only the central core acted as a stabilizing core while the four peripheral building segments were supported on built up posts.

During the course of construction, the client Ms. Franklin, elected to move the bed from the main floor to a small loft over the entrance. This allowed her to move the dining area to the original bed position.


Materials were selected on the basis of cost and their environmental and people friendly properties.

Floors, walls and roofing/ceiling are breathable constructions thus avoiding the "Sick Home Syndrome". The insulation value in all cases is R20 or better.

The interior floors, ceilings and walls are all tongue and groove Pine finished with only drying oils. The exterior walls are also Pine tongue and groove finished in drying oils.

Due to the extreme hot temperatures of the Okanagan the roof is actually a double roof with the rain shedding metal roof separated from the insulated roof by a ventilated airspace to assist cooling.

Heating is supplied by a single propane fireplace.

The main floor is 300 square feet and the basement is 100 square feet, while the porch area is 40 square feet.


Even with such an extreme budget as this, it is possible to build an environmentally sound home that enhances the Joy, Life and Soul of humans.

A quote from the Architect's recent book states "We are building sacred places, as distinct from profane places, to add layers of experience and importance to life patterns."

This project featured in:

  • The Cottage Magazine - June/July, 2000
  • Canadian Cottage and Cabin Plans - Volume 4
  • "Healthy Homes" - Affordable Housing Award - CMHC 2002
  • Homes and Cottages Volume 18 issue 3 July 2008
  • Natural Home Magazine - March/April 2010
  • Houzz Unveils 2013 "Best of Houzz" Winners


  • Builder - Ken Silbernagel
  • Photographer - Stuart Bish

Oliver, British Columbia, Canada