Esquimalt house
Mcleod Bovell

Esquimalt house

Mcleod Bovell Modern Houses as Architects

This house is located on a steep, extra wide property with views of downtown Vancouver, the Lion's Gate Bridge and Burrard Inlet. The building flows laterally with a gently stepped horizontal navigation across and down through the site. Twenty feet of vertical distance between the street and the main floor entry is divided into three distinct experiences in order to alleviate, what would otherwise be, a relentless downward movement. First, a set of concrete platforms through a small ornamental orchard, then down a single run of stairs overhanging a pond, and finally through a courtyard over a bridge to the front door. The courtyard with its wide reflecting ponds creates a distinct space out of what would otherwise be a compressed valley between the street and the face of the building.


In accordance with the couple’s needs, the house operates simultaneously as a private place of retreat, a place of business, and a large-scale, quasi-public entertaining space. The office is reached via an exterior access ramp beside the reflecting ponds so that business can be conducted apart from the living spaces. Dramatic interior and exterior entertaining spaces that accommodate gatherings of the client's Ismali religious community comprise one half of the site, while more intimately-scaled spaces for private living and personal contemplation form the other half.


Private bedroom spaces are consolidated into a compact upper floor volume that floats above the strung-out main floor. This allows two scales of main floor spaces. Large spaces with tall ceiling heights, contrast with smaller private rooms- a lounge between the kitchen and dining room and a meditation room at the stair which looks back over reflecting ponds. These programs overlap and are made cohesive through a subdued internal and external palette: architectural concrete, light gray cement panel, polished concrete floors, white gypsum wallboard, and matching millwork panels.



Esquimalt House

Powers Construciton as Contractors

The Esquimalt house is situated on an steep and unusually wide property with significant views of downtown Vancouver, the Lion’s Gate Bridge and Burrard Inlet. The client’s, who came to Canada from East Africa, requested that their house operate at different scales: as a space for religious gatherings and business, as well as a place for them as a couple. The low-contrast grey and white palette of the house is intended to create a gallery-like setting for the display of artifacts of cultural and religious significance.


Movement and program are terraced laterally and vertically across the site and through the house, mitigating the slope and separating quasi-public areas at one side of the property from private living spaces on the other. Bedrooms are consolidated into a compact upper floor volume to one side of the house where they float above an elongated main floor.

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ElementBrand
ManufacturersAtlas Meridian Glass Works
ManufacturersMetalmart
ManufacturersMuralis Architectural
ManufacturersSuper Industries
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