Architect: Patkau Architects Inc.
Project Team: Michael Cunningham, Joanne Gates, John Patkau, Patricia Patkau, Peter Suter, Brian Wakelin

Consultants
Structural: Fast & Epp Structural Engineers
Contractor: Glover Co Ltd

Images
Paul Warchol (1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15)
Benjamin Benschneider (4)
Patkau Architects (16, 17, 18)

Location

Size

Client

Awards

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

285 sq m / 3,071 sq ft

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2005 American Institute of Architects National Honor Award
2004 Governor General’s Medal
2002 Record House Selection

Description

The site is a small waterfront property, 10 metres wide by 47 metres deep, looking across English Bay to the North Shore mountains which dominate the skyline of Vancouver. Required sideyard setbacks result in a plan which is limited to 8 metres in width.

The house is organized with living spaces on grade, private spaces above grade, and music room below grade. The dimensions of the site made it difficult to locate the lap pool on grade while retaining generous living spaces. Consequently, the lap pool is located above grade, along the west side of the house, connected at either end to the terraces off of the bedroom and study. Within the narrow floor plates spatial expansion is only possible outward over the water and upward through the volume of the house. Small spaces are enlarged with generous ceiling heights, while the fully interiorized dining room rises through the floor above to a clerestory that brings both daylight and light reflected from the lap pool deep into the central area of the plan.

Vancouver is located in an area of high seismic risk. In this context, with the lap pool located above grade, a robust structure is required that is resistant to significant lateral forces. As a result, the house is constructed almost entirely of reinforced concrete.

The site is a small waterfront property, 10 metres wide by 47 metres deep, looking across English Bay to the North Shore mountains which dominate the skyline of Vancouver. Required sideyard setbacks result in a plan which is limited to 8 metres in width.

The house is organized with living spaces on grade, private spaces above grade, and music room below grade. The dimensions of the site made it difficult to locate the lap pool on grade while retaining generous living spaces. Consequently, the lap pool is located above grade, along the west side of the house, connected at either end to the terraces off of the bedroom and study. Within the narrow floor plates spatial expansion is only possible outward over the water and upward through the volume of the house. Small spaces are enlarged with generous ceiling heights, while the fully interiorized dining room rises through the floor above to a clerestory that brings both daylight and light reflected from the lap pool deep into the central area of the plan.

Vancouver is located in an area of high seismic risk. In this context, with the lap pool located above grade, a robust structure is required that is resistant to significant lateral forces. As a result, the house is constructed almost entirely of reinforced concrete.