- Text: Leslie Jen
- City: Vancouver
- Country: Canada
Text description provided by the architects. Designed for a young family of four, this 3,000 square-foot house in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood offers a contemporary take on single-family residential living.
Despite its unequivocally modern aesthetic, the house is sensitive to its immediate context in its scale and materiality; the datum line responds to the houses immediately adjacent, and elegantly thin strips of stained cedar wrapping the structure take their cue from the domestic application of wood siding in the area. The second storey cantilevers over the entry level, amplifying the sculptural quality of the home and the abstracted graphic composition of the front façade. The entryway is further recessed to enhance the spatial juxtaposition of solid and void.
Dramatic contrasts are present between the black cladding and a pristinely pale interior.
Custom millwork and floors in white oak comprise a seamlessly integrated system that contributes to the uninterrupted and streamlined effect. Furthermore, the contemporary appeal and circulatory flow of the open floor plan makes the interior seem larger, and encourages maximum usage of all spaces. Kitchen, dining and family areas are separated from the living area by a wall containing a three-sided open fireplace that augments the degree of porosity between rooms.
A projecting skylight offers an additional source of natural daylight from above to wash down to all three floors below. The stair, an architectural artifact itself, features a transparent glass balustrade and open risers, all of which permits light from above to further suffuse the interior.
Landscaping gestures enhance the connection between indoors and outdoors, extending enjoyment of the house to the backyard during warmer months. The provision of a generous back deck accessible from the family room encourages al fresco dining and an appreciation of the verdant, lush ambiance of mature deciduous trees and plantings native to the West Coast.