Site size: 13,850 square feet
Project Size: 3,230 square feet
The clients'avid landscapers and gardeners'approached Canadian architecture firm DIALOG to build a house with a strong connection to their property's natural environment.
The house occupies a lush, 0.3-acre site site in Vancouver's Dunbar-Southlands neighborhood. A freshwater, fish-bearing stream bisects the property and culminates in a basin at the property's south end. The footings of a former structure are visible on the site.
The architects reinterpreted the site's existing conditions'the natural basin, the existing footings'to design a two-level house that spans the existing stream and blurs indoor and outdoor environments.
The main level follows a rectangular, open-floor plan with generous skylights illuminating and defining the primary spaces. Visitors enter from the upper level on the north side where a foyer leads to a kitchen and dining room. One step down is a large living room, separated from the master bedroom by a fireplace. The elongated eaves of a generous, pitched roof cover exterior decks that extend from these interior spaces.
A dramatic glazed stair leads to additional living space on the lower level, where large windows offer views of the water, framed by Japanese maples, bamboo and rhododendrons. The private, backyard garden surrounding the basin is accessible from the north side of the house.
The architects utilized the existing structural grid from the site's former building to establish the new house's column locations. They enlarged the footings and made sure the house could withstand seismic events. Douglas fir, structural steel, and board-formed concrete provide the primary structural system, while inside, brushed stainless steel cross-braces offer additional support.
406 - 611 Alexander Street
Vancouver, BC, V6A 1E1
Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit: