Words provided by Garret Cord Werner Architects & Interior Designers.
Photos by Artin Ahmadi.
This elegant 4600-square-foot home, built by Werner Construction, is situated on a slope sitting back from the street to provide a timeless and understated presence. Concrete and cedar on the exterior create a pleasant contrast to the lush greenery surrounding the home.
The client requested a modern, single-family home that maximized a sloping lot with a small, pre-existing home. Garret Cord Werner set to work, studying the significant descent of the land and the positioning of the sun over the terrain. Once the earth had spoken, it was decided to nestle the new home in the northwest corner of the lot in order to “work with the slope” and not against it. This positioning also maximized the view of the city while keeping as much privacy as possible amidst the neighbouring homes.
While studying mother nature’s habits in North Vancouver, it was determined that the winds in this area come from the north and a shed style roofline, positioned at an advantageous angle, could protect the outdoor living spaces from strong winds. This factor, along with the slope, helped to determine a general concept for the design. The concept grew into “layered living” with two planes of voluminous living space that contain a playful circulation experience between them.
As you enter the 4,600-square foot home on the lower level, or “layer,” you find yourself in a sun-soaked entry, lit from the windows above. This entry, as well as all of the main living areas, were carefully configured to allow for the maximum amount of sunlight. The heart of the main level is the kitchen. Open to the dining area and living room, the minimalist kitchen is the centrepiece of the home’s layers.
This indoor vertical garden is an unexpected delight that brings the outside in and gives the organized home an organic quality. The garden wall is fed with a micro-nutrient rich drip irrigation system and is easy for the family of four to maintain. This feature was a charming result of the Garret Cord Werner team engaging new technologies and further exploring the blend of indoors and outdoors.
Also on the home’s main layer are two additional bedrooms and the master suite. The master suite serves as a retreat for busy parents and holds a master bathroom complete with freestanding soaking tub and a private view of a Seiryu Japanese maple, backed by majestic evergreen trees. Off-white porcelain tiles and white quartz slabs envelop the space, creating a refreshing frame to relax and view the foliage.
This lower layer contains a bedroom, office and family room. The stairwell to the main living layer was designed as a focal point rather than just some utilitarian steps. The passage is accentuated with a glass railing, designed to allow for the maximum amount of daylight to flood the lower layer, creating a sun-filled well that is the perfect spot to take in the warmth.
With three bedrooms on the upper level and another bedroom and office on the lower level, the floor-plan maximizes the use of space while simultaneously creating transparent, light-filled rooms that seek to blur the line between indoor and outdoor spaces.
To continue the theme of blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces are the cedar plank ceilings that expand past the clerestory to the exterior living spaces. The vast floor to ceiling windows captivate the city view and enrich the sensation of being harmonious with exterior sky and flora. Outside of all windows, mature plantings were specifically chosen to provide instant greenery and privacy. The foliage is selected during the pre-design process as part of Garret Cord Werner’s holistic design process to achieve synergy of architecture, interior design, and landscape architecture by designing all simultaneously, as equally meaningful components of a home.