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A private residence of 285 square meters for a single person. The program includes living spaces, bedroom, study, music room, and a lap pool.

2005 – American Institute of Architects National Honor Award
2004 – Governor General’s Medal
2002 – Record House Selection

The site is a small waterfront property, 10 metres wide by 47 metres deep, looking across English Bay to the North Shore mountains which dominate the skyline of Vancouver. Required sideyard setbacks result in a plan which is limited to 8 metres in width.

The house is organized with living spaces on grade, private spaces above grade, and music room below grade. The dimensions of the site made it difficult to locate the lap pool on grade while retaining generous living spaces. Consequently, the lap pool is located above grade, along the west side of the house, connected at either end to the terraces off of the bedroom and study.
Within the narrow floor plates spatial expansion is only possible outward over the water and upward through the volume of the house. Small spaces are enlarged with generous ceiling heights, while the fully interiorized dining room rises through the floor above to a clerestory that brings both daylight and light reflected from the lap pool deep into the central area of the plan.

Vancouver is located in an area of high seismic risk. In this context, with the lap pool located above grade, a robust structure is required that is resistant to significant lateral forces. As a result, the house is constructed almost entirely of reinforced concrete.

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Dates: 1995-2000
Client: John Shaw

Architect: Patkau Architects Inc.

Project Team: Michael Cunningham, Joanne Gates, John Patkau, Patricia Patkau, Peter Suter, Brian Wakelin

Structural: Fast & Epp Structural Engineers

Contractor: Glover Co Ltd