the west vancouver museum’s eighth annual home tour took place on july 13th. five homes that exude the west coast modern aesthetic and lifestyle were featured on the tour build in various times to explore the way modernism has moved throughout the decades.
designed by ron thom of thompson, berwick and pratt, the 1958 carmichael and 1961 grinnell residences provide an interesting comparison of thom’s work. The carmichael residence embraces complex interlocking hexagonal modules, while the grinnell residence is characterized by a simple rectilinear grid.
as west coast modern architecture started to flourish, local builders adapted the principles of post and beam design. the lewis construction company, the most prolific of these design-build firms, constructed simple cost effective homes including a 1960 house recently renovated by gavin froome, one of the director’s of the film coast modern.
the downs residence II (1979) is a small house by local architect barry downs, who designed for his family. the house embraces an ever-changing coastal environment with views to the ocean. the modulated structure of the house is well integrated into its tranquil site.
in addition to these four homes, tour participants will also visit the recently completed house designed by architect greg dowling, for his family. the slender, horizontal structure projects from a rock precipice, overlooking the ocean and a forested ravine. the design combined concrete, steel and cross-laminated timber (clt), an advanced timber product designed for durability, sustainability and design flexibility. this house is the first building in north america to use clt as the primary structure for all floors, walls and roofs.