DRKdesign : 8500 fairdell crescent, richmond

seaside house

designed by : DRKdesign

built by : owner/builder in 2015 [listed for 3.49mil, 2017-relisted for 3.28mil]

photography by : snowchimp creative

the house is currently on the market and here is the link to the listing.

a short blurb by the realtor:
this westcoast contemporary custom built home is located in the reputable seafair neighborhood in richmond. spectacular ocean views from this truly magnificent luxury family residence situated on a professionally landscaped estate property in this most prestigious location. this exceptional modern home offers a stunning open design with spacious principal rooms, large floor to ceiling windows and the patio space on the house with water view is significantly larger than normal. the back yard faces west overlooking georgia straight from sunshine coast to vancouver island. extremely high quality boasts every luxury feature imaginable.


view of house from back yard


house enjoys sweeping views of the dyke and seaside beyond


entry area leads to a double height foyer and floating stairs


sitting room


upstairs living room with clerestory windows bringing in soft eastern natural light


master ensuite


open dining room with wall of sliding glass doors to western deck


the kitchen with eat-in island


open space that connect to sitting room beyond and living room (to the right)


stairs located centrally at upper floor with hallways beyond to bedrooms along the east side of the house


western side of the house with walk-out basement, living space balcony and a roof top open sundeck


street view of the house

DRKdesign : 969 west 18th avenue

969 west 18th - frontdouglas park twins

designed by : DRKdesign

built by : marman developments in 2015 [listed for 2.19mil]

photography by : silvija crnjak

969 west 18th - contexttaking an existing site of 49.5′ and subdividing into two lots of 24.75′ wide and then building a new home on each lot with RS-7 zoning was the challenge here.

969 west 18th - siteplanboth houses utilize thick walls with exterior rigid insulation for greater thermal performance, as well as, durability.

969 west 18th - floor plan 0969 west 18th - floor plan 1969 west 18th - floor plan 2there were a few challenges beyond the zoning requirements.

969 west 18th - front bedroomdue to the narrow floorplate, making bedroom spacious enough was a key concern, which was solved by offsetting the two front bedrooms with a balcony filling in the space and allowing a large corner window in the bedroom while ensuring neighbor’s privacy.

969 west 18th - upper landing

in order to bring natural light into the center of the building, a large rectangular skylight was used in combination with an open stairs extending down two floors.

969 west 18th - basement suite

the basement included a secondary suite with a living space and kitchen and one bedroom and bath, with a sunken patio off the back of the house. In order for a functional layout below grade, the sunken patio was made as wide as possible and full height glazing extend the space visually beyond.

969 west 18th - kitchen island

the main floor consisting of entry, living/kitchen/dining space and powder room was kept as open as possible yet, spaces feel separated due to location of kitchen in center of the space but visually open through to back of house and to the yard beyond.


exterior features a flat roofline with expansive windows to bring in light.

here is the blurb on the house from the realtor:

unique “cube house” with the perfect family feel in sought-after cambie! this modern home has clean lines, upscale finishings and millwork throughout with a thoughtful floor plan. the “lawn free” landscaping creates a low maintenance, but gorgeous front and back yard. main floor is open and bright with high ceilings and a stunning chef’s kitchen. use of millwork is extensive and topped off with a feature floating fireplace in the living room. a stunning staircase leads you to the upper level where you’ll find 3 bedrooms with high ceilings again and two full well appointed baths. lower level is perfect with a flexible rec room/media room or play room. downstairs a 1 bedroom legal suite adds wonderful revenue potential. a double garage and walkability to cambie’s best parks complete the package.

general features:
– roxul cavityrock md 1.5″ exterior insulation provides superior long-term thermal & acoustic performance
– venmar avs heat recovery ventilator system with advanced blower design for quiet operation
– radiant in-floor heating
– ‘nest’ smart thermostat
– viessman on demand heat
– monitored security alarm system with dsc touchscreen pad with 7″ full color display, slim modern design (800×480 resolution), intuitive led indication of security system status, picture frame feature, intuitive user interface
– aiphone hands-free color video intercom
– 4x high definition night vision cameras with digital video recorder
– built-in sound system
– professionally designed lawn-free landscaping
– millwork and cabinetry by q point

main floor features:
– custom millwork with whitewashed maple and cherry wood wall paneling, and matching pocket door for main floor powder room
– imported italian tribeca porcelain tiles throughout the entire main floor
– custom side-mount steel and glass stair railings
– solid white oak stairs and runners with built in stair lighting
– oversized milgard windows and sliding doors with roller blinds
– 50” electric linear fireplace
– outfitted with hdmi cords above fireplace

kitchen features:
– fisherpaykel activesmart refrigerator
– fisherpaykel double drawer smart wash dishwasher
– fisherpaykel 30″ gas range convection oven
– panasonic built-in microwave
– miele stainless steel hood fan
– gorgeous granite counters
– double undermount stainless steel sink with grohe pulldown faucet
– oversized long working centre island
– excellent storage and work surface space

upper floor features:
– oversized elongated skylight above stairs for loads of light
– 3 excellent bedrooms with generous closets
– lovely master suite with double closet with frosted glass doors
– oversized private balcony off the master with privacy frosted glass
– engineered flooring throughout
– whirlpool steam stacker washer/dryer in extra deep closet

master ensuite features:
– double kohler undermount sinks
– granite counters
– kohler toilet
– walk in oversized shower
– grohe rainhead shower and faucet
– oversized window provides loads of light

bathroom features:
– high quality bathroom fixtures including duravit bathtub and grohe faucets.
– use of hohler sinks, toilets
– granite counters

lower floor features:
– excellent space for media room, play room, rec room with over height ceilings and closet
– self contained legal basement suite. suite kitchen features stainless steel appliance package and cabinets matching with main floor kitchen.

DRKdesign : 959 west 18th avenue

959 west 18th avenue - front of house

view of house from street – photo by pixilink solutions

designed by : DRKdesign

built by : marman developments in 2015 [listed for 2.23mil]

959 west 18th avenue - kitchen

view of kitchen towards living space beyond – photo by pixilink solutions

here is the realtor’s take on one of these modern homes : (check out the listing here and pixilink tour here)

modern living at its finest in desirable douglas park! open layout with 10 ft ceiling on main, tons of natural light from oversized windows and glass panelled interior doors, custom millwork featuring whitewashed maple and cherry, imported Italian tiles, premium kitchen appliances including double drawer dishwasher. three bedrooms above, mountain view from master. basement legal suite with option as 1 or 2 bedrooms. downtown, trendy main st, queen elizabeth park, granville island, you’ll be in the middle of it all from this stunning new home.

959 west 18th avenue - living room

living space with fireplace hearth that doubles as a bench and custom millwork – photo by pixilink solutions

959 west 18th avenue - view from main floor deck

deck extends the full width of the house at the back yard – photo by pixilink solutions

959 west 18th avenue - ensuite

ensuite bathroom has lots of natural light due to large north-facing window – photo by pixilink solutions

959 west 18th avenue - suite kitchen

basement suite features full kitchen – photo by pixilink solutions

959 west 18th avenue - suite living space

basement suite open living-dining-kitchen space with sunken patio – photo by pixilink solutions

959 west 18th avenue - back of homes

the back of the houses have obscure glass at balconies and decks for increased privacy – photo by pixilink solutions

look forward to another post with professional photos of both houses and a more architectural point of view of this project.

DRKDesign – new motto

i have decided to update my motto to something even more simpler : sustainable & beautiful. why you may ask? well these are the 2 things that really drive my design and things i am passionate about.
recently completing the passive house design course has really showed me just how important a well designed (envelope) building is.

1. sustainable = if we are all building homes that are less demanding on the energy uses, we can not only same ourselves lots of $$ which is great, as we know that the price of energy is only going to rise in the future; but also we can reduce co2 emissions and help the planet breathe better. keeping the air clean is good for us but even more crucial to the future generations!

2. beautiful = if something is not well designed and ugly, no one (at least in the long run) will care for it. If buildings aren’t nurtured and cared for and fall into dismay, they will be taken down sooner than they would if they were beautiful, because no one cares for ugly things. the constant tearing down of not-so-old houses is not a sustainable way of building. we need to build homes that will be sturdy and well-built so that they may be around for 100s of years.

so, “sustainable & beautiful“. what do you think?

competition : cascade passivhaus – 100 mile house open ideas competition

a brief introduction to the 100 mile house design competition:

the architecture foundation of bc promotes big ideas that recognize sustainable design, architectural merit and innovation in order to advance the knowledge and practice of the design of sustainable buildings in british columbia.

the afbc invites the participants of this competition to explore, rethink, question and experiment with new ideas that will challenge the concept of the regional house and the way we live.

historically, most houses were constructed as ’100 mile’ houses from caves, sod houses, log cabins and stone houses to the first nations’ indigenous cedar houses, tepees and igloos. people worldwide used whatever available materials were at hand to build shelters for themselves and their families. but is this possible in a modern 21st century city like vancouver?

this competition will challenge all participants to rethink the way we live and select materials, systems and technology that reflect this reality in the world of computers, the internet, facebook, etc…  participants are encouraged to challenge the logic of the present, formulate new questions, and explore variations that will allow new potentials for living.

geographically, we have selected the city of vancouver to be the focus of the competition for the ’100 mile house’. participants are challenged to design a house to accommodate 4 people with a maximum area of 1200 square feet (111 m2) using only materials and systems made/ manufactured / recycled within 100 miles of the city of vancouver. a hypothetical flat, corner site of 33′ x 120′ (10.0 m x 36.6 m) will be used for the context. all city services (water, sewer, storm drain, natural gas and electricity) are available to the property line should the entrant choose to use them.

affordability, while important, is not the focus of this competition. competitors are free to propose any alternatives but the concept of the 100 mile house should equally apply to luxury finishes and products. being environmentally conscious is not always dictated by cost.

similarly, zoning and building bylaws of the city of vancouver are important criteria in reality but again are not the focus of the competition. competitors are not expected to know the bylaws and building codes of a specific area but general construction practice should be demonstrated. the applicability of the solutions to other jurisdictions will be important regardless of minor variances in building codes. it is hoped that necessity, as the mother of invention, will foster/ create prototypes that could be modified and the ideas exported to any geographic area. all submissions should demonstrate the integration of local social, technological, economic and aesthetic sustainability into the final solutions.

this is a global competition. architects, designers, artists, students and other environmentally conscious creators from around the world are encouraged to submit their ideas.


description of cascade passivhaus:

the cascade passivhaus is a 1200 sq.ft. home designed for a family of four. the ground floor comprises of a living space, dining room, kitchen and master bedroom with ensuite. the upper floor contains two bedrooms, a bathroom and a playroom in the center. the playroom opens onto a south-facing sundeck for private use. An exterior staircase along the north side allows access to the roof deck. the decks are protected with high-albedo waterproofing and decking for summer use or can be finished with an intensive green roof to further reduce storm water run-off and heat island effect.

in designing, the focus was to eliminate any unnecessary items that can be mitigated by natural alternatives, such as ventilation that is provided naturally by opening window/doors; heating harnessed by the sun; and lighting by the use of solar-powered led-s. the ground floor is raised and supported on individual concrete pillars to reduce the amount of concrete used (typically with footing & foundation wall systems). the open space under the house allows for air movement, as well as, a reflecting pool/water feature on the west side of the house acts as a cooling agent. rainwater is harvested and stored under the house; once filtered, it can be used in all non-potable plumbing fixtures (clothes washing, dishwasher, shower) and landscape irrigation. using materials from the existing deconstructed house and reclaimed hydro poles which will provide the necessary structural frame for the house. In keeping energy-efficient, it will be built with passivhaus building standards.

now that the competition is over, this design is available for further design. if you are interested in learning more about this project, please contact david kominek of drkdesign at 604.928.6036.

DRKdesign : 4268 wallace street

a recently completed new home in dunbar by drkdesign. the house is located on a beautiful open west-facing lot overlooking chaldecott park.

the wallace house :

the house was designed for a young family with 2 children. the main floor features an open living-dining-kitchen space. a family room is located off this space and faces the street. the main entry and foyer is a few steps down from the living area, to provide separation between spaces while keeping visual connection. a staircase located on the west side of the house provides access to the basement and the upper floor with the bedrooms. the stairs were located on the west side of the house to ensure maximum space for bedrooms along the east side of the house overlooking the backyard, and views. the upper floor contains 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, as well as, the washer and dryer. the master bedroom has a balconette overlooking the yard, a great place to sit while enjoying the morning’s 1st cup. The basement has a potential for an in-law suite, with 2 bedrooms and a private bathroom.

the ground, upper and basement floor plans and elevation drawings.

the dining room looking from the kitchen towards the living space. ample amount of glazing is provided along the private side of the house.


the living room features a gas fireplace and  box windows which can be turned into bookcases. built-in credenza along the wall offers additional storage.


the dining room with window seat overlooking the yard.


the kitchen. the door to the left is to the family room. large window at the sink allows natural light into the kitchen. door to the back next to the fridge is a mudroom, that can be used as a wok kitchen or a coffee station.


the family room has a corner window with views to the street and park beyond.


the backyard looking south. a large wooden deck directly off the dining/living room connects the outside in.

the house is on the market right now and here is a link to the video tour and the realtor’s listing.

all photos by westside realty, except top photo and drawings by drkdesign.