Hillside Home, Vancouver, B.C.

The owners are an older couple with quite specific requirements for living and working spaces. This house sits on a steep site sloping down from the street (with no rear lane). Designed in an RS-5 Design Guideline zone, the exterior form reflects the surrounding older homes’ character without resorting to historic mimicry. The front entry and garage are on the third level (street level) and lead to a generous entry hall, stairs up and down, and an elevator to all floors. The top floor, located under the main roof form, includes a sitting area and kitchen with a dining area. All have panoramic views of Vancouver Harbour, Bowen Island, and Burnaby Mountain . Roof decks set into the roof form capture South light and also provide a North view patio. Off the entry level is the master bedroom (ensuite, dressing closet) also with spectacular views. One level below the entry are the office and an art studio plus storage. The basement (at ground level facing the landscaped rear yard) has a rec room with moving wall panels to create a guest sleeping area when needed.

The design included a sophisticated concrete structure (basement, first and second floors) to address seismic and slope creep issues (EnNova Engineering). The site landscaping provides a seasonally changing array of colours and includes a small lawn area in the rear for grand children’s play (Julie Hicks, Landscape Architect).