Vancouver British Columbia 3500 sf

Rejuvenation of an iconic 1970’s stepped house.

An extensive renovation of a unique stepped home dating from the 1970’s, this project rejuvenates a unique house while building under it to provide an at home office space. The site for the existing house overlooks the Arbutus area of Vancouver, with breathtaking views to the North Shore Mountains and the City. It sits on a steeply sloping site, and steps up almost the entire length of the 122’ long property- something that couldn’t be replaced under today’s zoning bylaw.

While the bones, concept and siting were strong, the home had challenges that limited its use- principally that light and views were obstructed by dark, small passages and low beams. It was also poorly insulated and California glass shutters were well past their due date.

The solution was to introduce vertical cuts through the house that bring light down into the stepped lower floors using skylights, glass floors and open double height spaces. Solid stairs were replaced with open treads, and glass guards replace solid walls. Light now floods the house from top to bottom. A private office is inserted under the existing lowest level, with a shallow reflecting pond built on its roof.

Inside the finishes are bamboo flooring and dark silver cabinetry and millwork. Bleached denim pine planks form the floating treads of the staircase, and a crystalline wine cellar with a glass ceiling creates a light filled feature on the lower floor. Outside, blackened cedar siding updates the warm wood tone of the original building, and frameless triple pane glass provides sound protection and a seamless tight appearance to the building envelope.