THE ROOF OVER YOUR HEAD | Getting To Know The City’s “Storybook” House Style

    November 6, 2013.

    3979-W-Broadway-1942-(Mary-Graham)

    Vancouver’s architecture is often difficult to distinguish as many of its homes are adaptations or amalgamations of more recognized styles. By cataloguing them, we gain an understanding of our homes and neighbourhoods, which gives us all a sense of pride in our city. With this is mind, the Vancouver Heritage Foundation provides Scout with an exclusive series that we call The Roof Over Your Head.

    storybook

    tudor3-(1)

    In North America, the period following World War I was a time of cozy, entrenched traditionalism. The “new” domestic architecture of the 1920’s-30’s unfolded at the height of the influence of the Hollywood movies, which had always depicted the exotic, the rare and the distant. This also led to widespread acceptance of the exotic and the picturesque.

    As the economy improved after the War, more people had an appetite for a sophisticated approach to the picturesque. Bungalows were reinvented with whimsical elements such as Tudor half-timbering and multi-paned windows. Characterized by steeply-pitched gables and gothic-arched windows, the Storybook style is inspired by historical motifs but embellished with romantic elements.

    The massing of Storybook houses is nearly always asymmetrical, with striking character-defining rooflines which are usually tall, and steeply gable. Everything from the clipped edge ‘jerkinhead’ roofs, to ‘Dutchweave’ eaves found on ‘Hansel and Gretel’ cottages, to the French Norman influence of turrets can be found on the Storybook home. Many Storybook houses adapted a one and a half storey massing to reinforce the doll-house look, with the roof hovering close to the ground.

    The front entry is often arched and outlined with brick or stone. Pointed, rounded or shallow arched windows are common. Other windows are deep-set with leaded muntin-barred windows, dressed with shutters and window boxes. Side yard gates were often attached to the front plane of the house reinforcing the asymmetrical “cats-slide” roofline (where one side of a pitched roof angles towards the ground in a sweeping curve).

    Storybook homes in Vancouver are few and far between now. Their whimsical styling was only popular for a few years and many were demolished, with a few notable exceptions. The homes lovingly referred to as the “Hobbit House” on King Edward and 3979 W Broadway are obvious starting places (both were designed by Brenton T. Lea.). However these character homes can also be found in Dunbar and around Point Grey.

    OTHER ROOFS OVER YOUR HEAD

    ——————————————————————————–

    Vancouver Heritage Foundation is a registered charity supporting the conservation of heritage buildings and structures in recognition of their contribution to the city’s economy, sustainability and culture. VHF supports Vancouver’s built history by offering educational tours, talks and lectures, courses, and special events. Launched early in 2013, the Vancouver House Styles Architectural Web Tool is a free online reference cataloguing Vancouver’s common architectural styles.

    • Morgan

      I think you are referring to the Hobbit House on King Edward, not Kingsway.

    • Scout Magazine

      Right you are. Thanks for catching the elaborate typo.

    The scout Community

    49th Parallel Coffee Roasters Abbey, The Abigail’s Party Acorn Alibi Room Araxi Ask For Luigi Bambudda Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie Beach House Bearfoot Bistro Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe Bel Café Bestie Beta5 Chocolates Biltmore Cabaret Bishop’s Bistro Pastis Bistro Wagon Rouge Bitter Tasting Room Bittered Sling Blacktail Florist Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar Bottleneck Bufala Burdock & Co. Butter On The Endive Cadeaux Bakery Café Medina Caffè Artigiano Campagnolo Campagnolo ROMA Cannibal Cafe Chambar Chefs’ Table Society of BC Chewies Oyster Bar Chez Christophe Chocolaterie Patisserie  Chicha Chocolate Arts Cibo Trattoria Cinara CinCin Ristorante Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill Commune Cafe Cuchillo Culinary Capers Catering Curious Oyster Catering Co. District Brasserie Diva At The Met Doi Chaang Coffee Co. Earnest Ice Cream East Of Main Cafe Edible Canada El Matador Espana Exile Bistro Farm 2 Fork Farmer’s Apprentice Fish Counter Forage Grain Greenhorn Espresso Bar Hapa Izakaya Hart House Harvest Community Foods Hawksworth Restaurant Heirloom Vegetarian Homer Street Cafe & Bar Irish Heather Joy Road Catering Juice Truck Keefer Bar Krokodile Pear L’Abattoir La Buca La Mezcaleria La Pentola La Quercia La Taqueria Pinche Taco Shop Lazy Gourmet Les Amis du Fromage Little District Local Philosophy Catering Lolita’s South Of The Border Cantina Los Cuervos Taqueria & Cantina Lukes General Store Lupo Restaurant Maenam Mamie Taylor’s MARKET by Jean-Georges Matchstick Coffee Roasters Meat & Bread Miku Restaurant Milano Coffee Minami Miradoro Mogiana Coffee Nicli Antica Pizzeria Notturno Nuba Oakwood Canadian Bistro Oyama Sausage Co. Oyster Seafood & Raw Bar Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (PICA) Pallet Coffee Roasters Parker, The Pat’s Pub & BrewHouse Pidgin Pink Elephant Thai Pizza Fabrika Pizzeria Farina Pointe Restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn Pourhouse Prado Cafe Railtown Cafe Rain Or Shine Ice Cream Rainier Provisions Re-Up BBQ Red Wagon, The Revolver Coffee Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. Salt Tasting Room Salty Tongue Café Savoury Chef Settlement Building Shameful Tiki Room Shebeen Whisk(e)y House Shelter Sidecut | Four Seasons Whistler Siena Six Acres Spotted Bear Tableau Bar Bistro Tacofino Tapenade Bistro Tavola Terra Breads The Stable House Thierry Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie Timbertrain Coffee Roasters Truffles Fine Foods Two Rivers Specialty Meats Urban Digs Farm Uva Wine Bar Via Tevere Pizzeria Napoletana West Restaurant Wildebeest Wolf In The Fog YEW seafood + bar

    Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was .

    Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was .