Text description provided by the architects. Located in Vancouver, Canada, this residential project by Arno Matis Architecture features façade openings that are programmed to provide passive shading, and act like an Aperture: opening and closing in response to the unique solar exposure of each façade. Apertures are deeper on the south elevation to provide increased sun shading, and more shallow and open to the North, to allow for additional light.
Each aperture is framed with natural wood-in-glass; a building skin that is the first of its kind. A mahogany veneer encapsulated between two glass layers, the system allows the wood to be preserved in its natural form without staining or colour treatment; the richness of the natural wood grain is enhanced through refracted light.
Encapsulated UV glass protects wood from weather exposure, eliminating the need for wood maintenance and staining. The insulated panel also reduces solar gain and increases the thermal resistance of the façade.
Stratigraphic architectural themes echo the area’s mid-century modern architectural vocabulary. Cantilever decks and strong horizontal lines and create a sense of lightness and lower the massing profile.
A full city-block located in a “single-family-transitioning-to-urban” neighborhood, the building responds to this context by stepping-down in scale from 6-storey midrise blocks on the busy arterial, down to two-storey villas, sensitive to the single-family neighborhood to the north.
The six building blocks are bisected with water gardens and bamboo courtyards that animate volumes with reflective light. The shallow massing results in bright, light-filled residences.
The building’s ‘campus-like’ massing creates interstitial social spaces: landscaped courtyards, mid-block water fountain and seating, and two, 6,000 SF fully-communal rooftop terraces that includes urban agriculture, a children’s play place and BBQ areas where all can share Vancouver’s striking mountain views.