Vintage in the front, modern in the back, this turn-of-the-century character home in the Point Grey neighbourhood of Vancouver represents a resolution of dual architectural identities while remaining cohesive in its design. The character of the original house is now juxtaposed with the new modern layer, making room for quirky spaces and unexpected moments while embracing a modern way of living. The open plan and cross-functionality of the modern space contrast with the formality of the original character giving the family the opportunity to have the best of both worlds —a cozy character home and a modern, light-filled space.
Poorly executed renovations over the years, a constricted floor-plan, and disregarded views of the north shore precipitated a full rethink of the design. Our main priorities were to give the house new life by stripping it back to its original and then weaving in a modern house and completely opening up the north facade to the panoramic expanse of the north shore mountains, Burrard Inlet, and downtown Vancouver.
The design approach was to not recreate the past but to not destroy it either. The redesign was about making spaces work harder, not just making things bigger. Perched on a sloping lot, the early 20th-century facade is hidden from the street by a dense tangle of trees. The front of the house remained intact, its traditional arts and crafts bones and period-specific details preserved. Walking from the front of the house to the back moves you through the eras with the rear of the house entirely modern.
The dining room, situated between the living room and the kitchen /deck area, is a transition point—a hybrid of new and old elements. The original window and casing were retained and now framed by a modern bookshelf.
The upstairs master bedroom, was rethought as a single space under a vaulted roof with a hidden steel structure that supported the full expanse of glass to the entire north facade. Downstairs, the slab was dropped to create higher ceilings for the family room while a large pivot door was placed in the middle of the glass facade to support a direct connection to the outdoor garden.