This coastal house has panoramic views of downtown, the ocean and mountains, enhanced thru expansive glass walls, detailed to eliminate the line between interior and exterior, and provide a seamless transition to large decks and a ground level garden, with lap pool and two freestanding pavilions- cabana and garage, both with green roofs. This connection to the natural setting informs the choice of exterior materials- yellow cedar siding, concrete and glass; with exposed concrete and wood used throughout the interior.
The site slopes two floors from the street entry to the lane accessed garage, with a NE orientation to the view and garden. The house is notched at the north corner to increase sunlight to the garden, and avoid obstructing the views of the next-door neighbor. The cabana is lowered below the garden elevation to increase sunlight to the pool.
Vancouver- outside the downtown core- is a city of low density neighborhoods, many with roots in the early 20th century. Contextual zoning regulations generally discourage contemporary design, making it even more important to be a good neighbor. This house presents a modest low scale to the street and conforms to guidelines that dictate a high ratio of solid wall to window. Glazing on the front elevation, strategically placed, provides views from the front thru to the mountains, and, combined with roof glazing, brings south light deep into the house.
The City’s high sustainability standards including energy utilization are ‘prescriptive’ and linked to the design regulations. This home not only meets these standards- a challenge for a contemporary design, but readily exceeds the standards measured on a ‘performance’ basis.