An Ordinary Suburban Home in Vancouver Is Given a Modern Edge
A couple living in West Vancouver with two young kids had a plan. They wanted a home where their family could grow; a place that had enough room for toys, and books, and play. It seemed like a typical enough objective, as most couples with children want this. And even though the 1950s property they purchased had likely spent generations as the setting for this type of dream, this pair couldn't picture their future amongst its history.
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"The interior had seen a couple of interior renovations over the years, but the structure and the bones were all existing," principal Nigel Parish of Splyce Design says. "The exterior was in its original 1950s form."
The house as it stood was an everyday suburban address, complete with a triangular roof that covered a simple single story. "Our goal was not only to provide more functional space," Parish continues, "but to improve its overall quality and feel."
To create square footage with personality, Parish concluded that the renovation had to feature a radical shift. Instead of keeping the roof as it was and modernizing the inside, he chose to add a second story and give the property a sloping cover.
"Adding a new floor above an existing structure is always a challenge, both structurally and architecturally," Parish says. "But by maintaining the majority of the existing home's footprint, the proposed changes were feasible. The sloping roof provided the opportunity to gain a half upper story, which accommodates the master bedroom, ensuite, and office."
The addition of the second story allowed for a private hideaway—a luxury for parents with young kids, of course—and it provided Parish with the flexibility to maximize the rooms on the ground floor.
He blended the living, dining, and kitchen areas into one continuous space, and sectioned off a guest room for impending visitors. The two kids also have their own dedicated play area, too. All of the couple's wishes were met, in fact, but Parish didn't stop there.
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"Renovation on the basement level includes a larger and more functional mudroom, and dedicated media room as well," he says.
Every space in the home is united by natural light and a minimalist touch, an atmosphere that complements the volume of the sloped roofs. And even though the finished scene vastly altered the original structure, Parish feels like he delivered on the couple's long-ago plan.
"The new appointed spaces work for the family: They are tailored to their needs, yet are flexible enough to accommodate future demands," he says. "While the new form of the house is a dramatic departure from the original 50s bungalow, the overall scale of the home still fits within the context of the neighborhood, yet adds some interest to the street."
Builder: Blackfish Homes
Structural Engineer: WHM Structural Engineers