Clinton Cuddington, of Vancouver’s Measured Architecture, was the lead architect on this project. He set out to create a modernist home that was both functional and beautiful and would serve a growing family. The extensive use of natural materials inside and out in constructing the residence reflects a commitment to good environmental practices and the minimalist aesthetic.
The exterior finish of the clean-lined structure is a mix of stucco and horizontal, wooden slats — a clear indication of an elevated interpretation of a modernist interior. The guiding principles of modern design — light and space — are evident everywhere in the house. There is a profusion of natural light throughout the house — owing to the clever placement of windows and skylights — and flowing open spaces that adhere to a comfortable human scale. Every detail in the design was carefully thought out for every inch of the property: from the bespoke integrated vents and drains in every flooring material for both the interiors and and exteriors through out the property; the use of transom windows in unusual locations such as a floor-level at the top of the stairs in the library space or in a secondary bedroom, the dark-stained beams over the skylights paired with ceiling millwork in the the upstairs hallway; the inlaid bamboo wood pattern on the stairway handrails; to the precision of the concrete design and pour for the walled back patio. The residence was constructed with the highest level of craftsmanship to the extent that a specialized Japanese stonemason was brought over from Japan to build the granite walls — all without mortar.
The grounds also are a reflection of the attention to detail on the project: irrigation, ambient lighting, ordered garden beds with multiple same-species native plantings, gravel paths, concrete and stone hardscaping — carefully planned but with a certain air of informality.
The use of natural materials during construction is a given for a project incorporating good environmental practices. The environmental effect starts with the sourcing and manufacturing narratives and extends to how the materials function in the home. Introducing a geothermal heating system, in this project, goes yet another step to enhance sustainable living in an urban environment. This form of heating and cooling a house doesn’t produce carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases and uses less power than conventional heating and, especially, cooling systems.
The permeable site paving controls water from rain run-off and redirects it back to the garden as does the infiltration rain gardens.
An eco-friendly feature that isn’t seen or heard but does crucial work is the green roof. The grasses up on the roof aid in air purification by filtering particulates out of the air and converting carbon dioxide to oxygen. And as the grasses also absorb sunlight, this means cooler temperatures in the warmer months for the house and close surroundings — making the house an all-round good — eco-friendly— neighbour.