Location: Vancouver, Canada
Size: 6,000 sq ft
Photography: Ema Peter
Overlooking the shimmering lights of downtown Vancouver and its beautiful harbour, the Westhill is an ultramodern, yet warmly inviting family home shaped by a series of site constraints and wishes of its owner. A protected natural creek and associated trees on the west side of the property established a large setback, dramatically limiting the building size, location, landscaping and access from the street.
To maximize the size of the allowable building envelope, the prevailing, 30-year-old residence was “grandfathered” into the new structure, challenging the designer to fit the client’s many wishes into the existing footprint. The new landscaping was married into the mature creek and trees, creating a seamless outdoor setting for entertaining, while connecting the elevated house to street level for better access.
The breathtaking master bedroom cantilevers out, bridging the local fauna and the far views while intimately embracing its inhabitants like a floating cocoon. Given this type of daring design, balancing the privacy of the occupants with their access to breathtaking views was a significant challenge, particularly in a home where the entire south side consists of glass wall panels This was carefully considered in the design of virtually every corner of the interior, including the strategic location of walls, cabinets, and lighting. The south-facing swimming pool was also exposed to the street until an outdoor fire feature, planters, and landscape walls were added.
Despite these constraints, the Westhill has emerged as a stunning 21st century home. To allow for easy control of home, all functions of the residence such as security, curtains, lighting, entertainment and fireplaces are automated by a central control system. The fully automated modern home is an intimate locale for day-to-day life, while serving as a memorable, warm and inviting venue for many grand gatherings in the years to come.
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