Nic Lehoux


DIALOG as Architects

ROAR_One, a collaboration between LWPAC Inc. (Lead Design Architect) and DIALOG is a ten-unit housing complex on Vancouver’s west side. The ambition for the Roar_one project is to create a qualitative paradigm shift for everyday urban living and live-work culture through the introduction of choice, flexibility and spatial strategies. The project is situated in Vancouver in the dynamic context of an emerging metropolis on the Pacific Rim. Cultural practices are changing and the city has adapted its urbanity, yet very little of this energy and diversity is being translated into the architecture of innovative residential developments. For the sustainable metropolis, it seems imperative to develop architectural models that counter urban sprawl, curb commuting and promote increasing urban density. We proposed a departure from preoccupations with representation, material finishes and standardization towards spatial qualities and strategies that are driven by a multitude of live and live/work scenarios in order to allow for unexpected forms of occupation and to catalyze the inventiveness of the tenants.

The absolute maximum permissible building volume was created and then ‘perforated and slotted’ with patios, courtyards and sky gardens for maximum light and air flow. These void spaces, excluded from density calculations, allow for a substantial redefinition and reinvention of an apartment type into the ‘sky house/studio’. Each of them, ranging from 800 to 2000 square foot in size, features two levels and double story high interior and exterior spaces in seamless continuity. Aluminum grating sliding screens and extensive bamboo planting is used to regulate seasonal heat gain and to control privacy.

Sustainable Features:

1. Active user operable solar gain and control with multiple 5’ x 14’ shading sliders. Full shading in the summer, solar gain in the winter. Low-E glazing. 2. Direct gain system: High mass concrete floors capture solar gain during winter and contribute to active cooling during summer. Floors have in-floor radiant water heating through central low emission gas boiler. 3. No need for air-conditioning systems due to extensive cross ventilation through ‘slot’ feature or private patios and central courtyard. 4. Abundant daylight leads to substantial energy savings through virtual elimination of artificial lighting during daytime. 5. Flexibility and multiple scenario design to increase longevity and reduce life cycle cost and impact. 6. Further design allows for home based business, countering commuting. 7. Rainfall used for irrigation. 8. Substantial bamboo planting in courtyard and north elevation. 9. Elimination of carpet or hardwood flooring. 10.Elimination of ceilings.

Awards 2008 Governor General’s Medal in Architecture – Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. 2006 Home of the Year Award, Architecture Magazine New York. 2006 Lieutenant Governors Medal, Award of Excellence *. 2006 Architectural Institute of BC Innovation Award *. 2006 Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture - Faculty Design Award. 2005 DX Award - National Post + Design Exchange.

* The combination of the two awards constitutes the highest recognition of the year, as the Innovation Award is typically given to one of the Lieutenants Governors Medal winners.

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