video : david battersby at banff session 2010

great lecture by local talent, david battersby architect.

david battersby’s presentation at the fairmont banff springs hotel for banff session 2010: scale.

great points to take away from david:

1. north bend residence [unbuilt]

5:00 we decided like the stumps, the house would be a black mass in the woods.

5:50 we were faced with a site that did not have a singular focus .. and we see that diversity as a way to … produce a kind of a more sustainable experience.

2. gambier residence

8:02 when we walked onto the site, heather and i noted this outcropping of rock that was back, deep in the site and we convinced the clients that we should do this longer house on a single level and have a courtyard around that rock because that courtyard would also be south-facing and bring a lot of light in to the centre of the house.

9:10 in terms of process, intuitive response and how it informs how we approach detailing. … all the foundations were carefully scribed to the bedrock, so it’s questionable whether the house is built on the site or is actually slipping out of the site.

9:45 the house is this black mass that site on this concrete foundation, which interfaces with the site. this sets up the idea of how it will relate to the land.

12:09 windows are placed in odd locations but it makes the experience with the site more diverse.

3. tolmie residence

12:26 in urban situations you don’t have the same kind of landscape to derive that kind of inspiration from … the rural houses seem to engage with the landscape in a different way.

13:15 the ground floor of the house is the point of interface with the landscape so that what we often see happen is that these ground floor plans are where the more intricate spaces are, the more indoor-outdoor spaces are. this is a much more articulate plan, and then the floor that floats above that, of course is the more singular, (maybe more conventionally modern or) traditionally modern plan in organization.

15:30 we look to try and have these moments where everything collapses along a single line / we like this split screen that happens also.

4. gambier island retreat

17:46 this house was designed as, there was a switchback required to get up to the house, and then the circulation in the house is actually an extension of this idea of this switchback.

20:31 in vancouver, and certainly on the west coast, there is this obsession with vista; and the reality is that most of the year we can’t actually see it, because it is shrouded in cloud and it’s raining, so we always encourage people to have other moments where they have some relationship to their site.

take time to listen his answers to some great questions following his lecture, as well.


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