This early 1980’s classic split-level was completely gutted and opened up to create an airy sense of volume. Constricted stairs, dropped ceilings, and non load-bearing walls between the living areas were removed while the existing exterior shape of the house remained the same.
Old window locations were preserved to leave the house’s structure almost completely intact yet they were elongated to let more light in. Since the house is on a prominent corner site, corner windows were added to create panoramic views into the established neighbourhood.
This project dignifies a disparaged era of Western Canadian architecture-without-architects that was actually quite robust, quietly futuristic, and reflective of the families that lived inside. The best domestic building of the 1980s was a re-working of the local wood frame building traditions that were only one hundred years old in British Columbia. After the 1980s, the next chapter of houses embraced faux finishes and unnatural materials which has stuck around to the present.
This renovation project was only finished with real materials that will patina. Heated concrete floors, raw waxed steel, bleached oak plywood and sculpted white drywall enclose a variety of spaces that are simple and complex.
Bleached oak plywood paired with concrete flooring and concealed appliances maintains a minimalist feel in the kitchen.
The corner window detail saturates the living area in natural light while the fireplace surround spans the length of the wall to enhance visual continuity and maintain the understated feel.
The 34oo-square-foot split-level boasts an efficient use of space with no dead space to distract from the home’s purpose. Black-framed windows add a contrasting element and showcases the angular architecture.
Glass, raw waxed steel, concrete and plywood converge throughout the home to bring the design a cohesive sense of flow.
Most of the exterior details that were existing were preserved or repaired to create a strong contrast between the old house and the new interior.