On a slope in West Vancouver, the site for what would become this house offered sweeping views of English Bay, the Vancouver skyline, and the Stanley Park peninsula. It also had a forested ravine up the hillside, offering direct access to a tranquil natural environment. The romance of a house tucked away in nature carried big appeal for the homeowners.
But the property wasn’t quite that. Part of a suburban neighbourhood, the lot had views of nature and proximity to forests, but it also had nearby neighbours down the hill that looked very much the suburban part. Any designs the homeowners undertook would also need to fall into line with the community’s design guidelines. To navigate those challenges, the homeowners turned to McLeod Bovell Modern Houses, a Vancouver-based design firm.
To frame those views the clients wanted, McLeod Bovell designed the house on a plinth. Hovering out from the hillside, this form not only created a flat surface on a sloping site but also obscured views of neighbouring houses down the hill. Above the plinth, two strong roof forms give the house a contemporary profile. Like the plinth, these forms double as framing devices, emphasizing the distant views of the water over the suburban community in the foreground. On approach, the house presents itself as a pair of floating planes.
By tucking it into the hillside, the architects were also able to manage the visual impact of what is a three-storey house. On the top level, they included a master suite along with three additional ensuite bedrooms. A deck off the master suite and another off the cluster of other bedrooms allow the homeowners and their guests to enjoy private outdoor space. On the main level, indoor-outdoor options abound, too. A dining room connects to a dining deck, while the living room connects to an outdoor deck with a swimming pool. On the lowest level, a gym and billiards room provide casual environments to unwind in while connecting to outdoor environments.
Photography by Ema Peter.