When Inspiration Meets Architecture
Lagois President Jacob Kirst is inspired. He’s inspired by the outdoors, by beautiful morning light, by wood and limestone and natural granite, by sketches, colours, nature, wildlife, sky, water, trees, rocks, and shorelines. These are all good inspirations to have when you’re an artist and a designer of homes – when they’re in your DNA, as they are in Jacob Kirst’s. They’re also the perfect passions for all three tenets of your company: design-build-renovate.
Jacob is at the heart of all of them, perhaps especially so with his unique portfolio of new house designs.
He describes his designs as “a harmonized integration of the surrounding landscape with the structure, enhancing their occupants’ lifestyle and creating an experience”.
He grew up vacationing in the Rideau Lakes area with a dad who was also a custom home designer and builder, a dad who let young Jacob sit with him from an early age to learn the art of sketching and fine craftsmanship. When he grew into a young man, he was focused on design and building. He went on to a solid education in construction engineering, heritage carpentry, timber frame structures, fine joinery, architectural technology and project management.
He speaks of kayaking along the shores of the Rideau Lakes and surrounding areas. “There’s a rock formation that has been there for melenia” he says. “It extends from the shoreline into the water, tested by weather and mother nature, yet it remains true despite the storms over the years. It provides shelter and protection to the ecosystems above and below. And yet, despite its weathered appearance, it remains durable, complimentary and an integral part of the landscape”.
He adds: “We are fortunate to have some of Canada’s most beautiful treasures in our backyard. For me, reconnecting with nature has always led me to some of my most cherished memories with family, friends as well as in solitude. It’s a place of peace and equilibrium.
Combining experience with his understanding of nature, landscape, materials and high-performance buildings, Jacob is becoming known for designing homes with longevity in mind, with optimum positioning, orientation, and elevation that blend into and complement their natural environments. His designs are in tune with nature, capturing and showcasing key features of waterfront settings that unify indoors and outdoors.
He explains some of his design solutions are his vision about how to accomplish, through architecture, homes that “elevate the experience, connect us, create memories, help us be at peace”.
His designs are warm and inviting. He calls them timeless, because they will never be looked upon, no matter how far in the future, as “trendy” or as a “style of the such-and-such era”. He adds his designs and materials are intended to stand the test of time for hundreds of years, for generations to come, and to create lasting spaces that generate comfort and peace.
“Imagine walking downstairs at the start of your day for your morning cup of coffee and being greeted by a large wall of windows…opening up to the outdoors, to nature,” he says, “hearing the wind racing through the leaves, the loons calling.”
They’re meant for rural areas, for vacation, retirement and cottage country. “They wouldn’t fit beside a modern skyscraper in downtown Ottawa,” he says. “The surrounding area dictates the design direction.”
Within his own style, he understands the need to build for a homeowner’s needs and goals. “creating spaces that are inspired by and for the folks who will be living in them,” he says. The designs are also highly functional, with the latest comforts, technology and efficiencies.
Jacob goes on to say one of his great inspirations has always been how to connect one’s self with the natural beauty of the surrounding environment in places like these.
“They are special,” he says.
“The experience they provide is unique, memorable.”
Jacob Kirst – President