Text description provided by the architects. The clients of this 1954 bungalow asked Randy Bens Architect to add a new floor to the existing structure. Located in a post war suburban neighborhood that sits at the prow of a hill in New Westminster, British Columbia, the bungalow is surrounded by rich modernist architecture from that era. The existing house was an L-shaped bungalow that was too small for the clients, an artist and psychologist, who have three boys ages 17 to 26. The new floor would be the domain of the parents, and the boys would acquire main floor bedrooms of a more suitable size. The addition would be composed of a studio, master suite, and a deck to take advantage of the view. Architecturally, the goal was to knit together the old and new with simple gestures and materials that would be sympathetic to their context, yet fresh.
The overall massing was influenced by the desire to stack the new program on existing walls (where possible), and by the creation of a new exterior space on the second floor with access to views and sunlight.
To counter the vertical nature of the resulting mass, and shade the south facing living room, a horizontal screen was introduced which gives the composition a more restful and balanced appearance. The screen extends past the living room in both directions, creating a covered entry to the east and an open structured space to the west, where there will be a stand of bamboo. To further reinforce the horizontality of the screen, a concrete planter / plinth / address wall was introduced at the ground plane.
There was a strong desire to have the house respond to the 1950’s and 1960’s post and beam houses in the neighbourhood. The vertical cedar siding, gently sloping roofs, exposed glulam beams and rafters are all present, but contemporary in their composition.
To give the facades order and cohesion, two devices were used to mediate between existing and new openings. Bright rolled zinc panels were placed above and beside existing window openings, then aligned with new openings above. A simple through-wall flashing detail serves as a datum for window heads, mullions and sills, and is present on all facades.