On the southern shore of Nova Scotia, near the port town of Lunenburg, architect Brian MacKay-Lyons and his wife Marilyn happened on the ruins of an abandoned fishing village.

French, German, and Swiss settlers had occupied the land in waves, leaving only dilapidated homes, and the surrounding forest had begun to reclaim the farmland. Undeterred, Brian, a partner at MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects, set out to clear and cultivate the site.

That was in 1988. Twenty years later, Shobac opened as an “agricultural village” with cattle, horses, and sheep roaming its pastures and drumlins, or hills created by passing glaciers. Visitors can rent any of the four cabins, the studio, the schoolhouse, the barn, Point House, or Enough House. Some buildings date back to the 1800s, and others are modern designs by Brian and Ghost Residency interns, creating a campus that evolves with time while keeping its historic roots alive.

Modeled after fishing huts, the cottages Hirtles, Gaff, LaHave, and Mosher provide two twin beds on the main floor and an open upstairs loft. Each building has a bathroom and shower as well as a fully equipped kitchen.
Natural cedar lines the interior of Hirtles, which was upgraded to include a second bathroom and a jacuzzi tub that looks out onto the white sands of Hirtles Beach.
Situated on a cliff, the studio blocks the northern wind that blows over the sea.
A 40-foot table can be a shared workspace or provide banquet seating. The studio also contains a loft, two bathrooms, a kitchen, and a living room with leather furnishings and a fireplace.
Brian rescued and transported the 1830 Chebogue schoolhouse from a community near Acadia, his hometown. Clapboard siding and cedar shingles make up the exterior walls and roof while wide pine boards were used for the flooring and wainscoting.


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