Situated on the steep south facing slopes of North Vancouver’s Indian Arm, the Cliffhanger Residence is a boldly modern home with a surprisingly tiny footprint.

The Cliffhanger Residence realizes the architect’s belief that a key component of any ecologically minded project is extreme efficiency in both its overall planning and in its layout. In a residential building environment that often equates size with grandeur, the design of the Cliffhanger residence establishes itself is a refreshing departure.

The three-level home sits atop a tiny site that would be defined as challenging by size alone - it’s a mere 25ft wide by 100ft long - but the fact that the site drops nearly 60ft over its 100ft length seriously ratcheted up the difficulties for the architect.

The home is laid out on a simple open plan with the key day-to-day activity areas of kitchen, living and dining located on the intermediate level with unobstructed views to the water. At a mere 1986sf in overall area the home is designed to be efficient and multi-functional with no space going unused. The house is rated highly energy efficient by the Canadian Ener-guide energy efficiency program achieving a rating of 85. Conduits run from the mechanical room to the roof for future solar panel installation.

The architect is trained as a Passive Haus designer and planned the Cliffhanger Residence with those concepts in mind - maximum southern exposure for winter heat gain, robust insulation throughout and a tightly air-sealed structure.

The Cliffhanger residence is a modern home with small footprint that straddles the seemingly incongruous worlds of a big city metropolis and rugged mountain landscape.

Designer: Kevin Vallely Architect (
Builder: Econ Group Ltd (

Photographer: Nik West (

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Modern home with Exterior, House Building Type, Wood Siding Material, and Flat RoofLine. East Elevation Photo  of The Cliffhanger House

East Elevation

Modern home with Exterior, Flat RoofLine, Wood Siding Material, and House Building Type. South Elevation Photo 2 of The Cliffhanger House

South Elevation

Modern home with Exterior, House Building Type, Wood Siding Material, and Flat RoofLine. East elevation - exterior stair Photo 3 of The Cliffhanger House

East elevation - exterior stair

Modern home with Exterior, House Building Type, Wood Siding Material, and Flat RoofLine. Roof deck Photo 4 of The Cliffhanger House

Roof deck

Modern home with Staircase, Wood Tread, and Metal Railing. Stair Photo 5 of The Cliffhanger House


Modern home with Living Room, Chair, Sofa, Coffee Tables, Ceiling Lighting, Recessed Lighting, and Light Hardwood Floor. Living Photo 6 of The Cliffhanger House


Modern home with Exterior, Wood Siding Material, House Building Type, and Flat RoofLine. South elevation Photo 7 of The Cliffhanger House

South elevation

Modern home with Kitchen, Engineered Quartz Counter, White Cabinet, Medium Hardwood Floor, Ceiling Lighting, Recessed Lighting, Pendant Lighting, Refrigerator, Glass Tile Backsplashe, Wall Oven, Cooktops, Range Hood, Microwave, Dishwasher, and Drop In Sink. Kitchen Photo 8 of The Cliffhanger House


Modern home with Dining Room, Table, Chair, Ceiling Lighting, Medium Hardwood Floor, Gas Burning Fireplace, Standard Layout Fireplace, and Pendant Lighting. Living Photo 9 of The Cliffhanger House