another fantastic set of houses was featured at this year’s tour. all were modern yet with lots of history as they all had been renovated throughout their life.
The 1956 Switzer/Hermanville Residence was built by Henry A. Switzer, who would later gain local fame with his second pink-exterior house on Mathers Street at Taylor Way. Before building that four-wing cantilevered house in the Googie architectural style, Switzer designed a classic 1950s house with some unique features on Sentinel Hill. Original elements of the home include curving, wood-paneled walls, open living spaces and a gourmet kitchen boasting scenic mountain views.
The 1958 Dawson/Purdie Residence is by renowned architect Ron Thom, who designed the house to feature traditional wood framing, stud walls and a low pitched roof. Inside the house are distinctly angular forms arranged by a hexagonal grid. The main living area is set high above a rocky knoll to take advantage of stunning ocean views. Renovations by Russell Hollingsworth simplified the divisions of space and introduced a skylight that brightens and animates the interior. Barry Downs designed an entry garden, walls and gateway, making the approach to the house a pleasant experience.
Set into sloping bedrock, the three-level 1961 Ray Residence by Daniel White is a fine example of West Coast modern architecture influenced by a Japanese aesthetic. After fifty years, the house had badly deteriorated and needed a great deal of work. Jim Ferguson and Jan Pidhirny, whose previous renovations include Ron Thom’s 1957 Carmichael Residence, took up the challenge over a year ago and have completely transformed the house into a stunning contemporary West Coast modern home.
The 1966 Dick/Smith Residence, designed by Barry Downs while he was a partner at Hollingsworth and Downs, embodies sensitive West Coast modern design principles. The house is approached through a mature stand of Douglas firs and has terraced gardens covering the sloped site. Living spaces feel seamlessly connected to the lush landscape and views of nature are carried indoors through strip windows with mitered-glass projections. Cedar woodwork throughout the house adds warmth and texture.
One of fourteen waterfront units comprising seven duplexes designed by Russell Hollingsworth in 1988, our fifth home on the tour was recently renovated to showcase the best of West Coast modern style. Featuring expansive views of Burrard Inlet to the south and the mountains to the north, this three-storey home features wood framing, high ceilings and miles of windows to bring the outside in.
From its understated entrance through a leafy-green courtyard, to its elegant, open plan interiors featuring newly-installed custom cabinetry, fixtures, furnishings, and flooring inspired by the textures and colours of the beach nearby, the home’s renovations embody the architect’s original vision for the complex as a perfect confluence of building and site, materials and style.
the houses weren’t as photogenic as other years so I will leave it to the experts this time:
check out hadani ditmar’s wallpaper article here.
check out western living’s article on the dick/smith residence here.
check out western living’s article on the russell hollingsworth duplex here.
west vancouver museum’s facebook photo page has oodles of images from the tour here.