THE ROOF OVER YOUR HEAD | Getting To Know Vancouver’s “Moderne” House Style

November 18, 2013 

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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.

moderne

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Advancing technology and the industrial influences of the 1930s inspired a new wave of art and architectural design. This new aesthetic rejected traditional design, historical references and ornamentation in favour of simple, stream-lined shapes similar to those found in airplanes, ships and even household appliances. Moderne architecture is also strongly reminiscent of the Dutch ‘De Stijl’ painters like Piet Mondrian (1872-1912) whose bold works combine a careful balancing of white canvas with bold lines and strong colour.

The Moderne Style, sometimes referred to as the International Style, was a precursor for West Coast Modernism. It is perhaps best embodied in a phrase coined by well-known architect Le Corbusier who referred to the ‘modern’ house as a “machine for living”. Simplicity of form characterizes this new functionalism. Plain, most often white, exterior surfaces made of concrete or stucco are composed into rectangular planes, often with strong but carefully balanced asymmetry. Windows often wrap around corners in a series of consistent modules. Textured obscure or reeded glass is used where light and privacy is needed.

Decoration is limited to recessed elements or relief sculpture worked into the façade or sometimes as vertical fluting on doorways. Rooflines are flat without eaves or overhangs except over balconies or doorways. Windows, usually metal casement, are artfully positioned to create a solid/void balance and add horizontality to the otherwise plain facades. Windows and doors are plainly inset into the façade with little or no trim. Railings are generally metal, often composed of horizontal steel piping. If colour is included in the façade it is generally restricted to windows and railings. The surrounding landscape of a Moderne home is likely equally simple and streamlined.

The Moderne style did not get a huge foothold in Vancouver. West Coast Modernism, which came after, was much more predominant. There are a couple of good examples; one on Heather Street, across from Shaugnessy Hospital, the other the 700 block of West 27th. The Bay Theatre at 935 Denman is also in the Moderne style, although a few of its more indicative details have been disguised as its use changed over the years.

OTHER ROOFS OVER YOUR HEAD

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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.

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

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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

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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.

THE ROOF OVER YOUR HEAD | Getting To Know Vancouver’s Revival Styles, Part Two

October 30, 2013 

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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.

spanish-revival

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Introduced after the influential 1915 Panama-California Exposition in San Diego, architects of the Spanish Colonial style utilized architectural features seen in Spain for more elaborate architectural styling. Featuring gardens surrounded by walls of the same stucco finish as the houses, Spanish Colonials typically exhibit asymmetrical massing with open gables to the street. Low-pitched roofs are designed for clay tiles, and often combine both hipped and gabled roof structure. They are also often marked by regionally distinctive overhanging eaves.

Casement windows with muntin bars (the cross pieces that divide paned windows glass) are hung in pairs, mimicking the double doors which open to the patio. Arches are a dominant feature used for windows, doors, and porches highlighting a front door of robustly detailed wood. Some homes will have the very distinctive features of triple-arched or parabolic windows, sometimes with stained glass, spiral columns at doors and windows, round or square towers, arcaded walkways and fountains.

Spanish Colonials have many of the indicative Spanish style accents such as red tile roofs, white rough-cast stucco, heavy robust wood accents around windows, doors, and eaves, ornamental wrought iron, and iron accents. Patterned tiles are often used as an accent in the stucco of open–ended gables or on stair risers.

This style ranged in Vancouver from elaborate mansions such as Rio Vista and Casa Mia, to California style “ranchos”. Examples can be found on the southeast corner of 33rd & Larch and at 5230 Marguerite. Various local neighbourhoods also showcase examples of Spanish storybook hybrids and Spanish-inspired bungalow homes, such as Kania Castle on Bellevue Street (pictured above, center-left).

OTHER ROOFS OVER YOUR HEAD

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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.

THE ROOF OVER YOUR HEAD | Getting To Know The City’s Arts & Crafts House Style

October 7, 2013 

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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.

arts-and-crafts

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The English Arts & Crafts style emerged as a reaction to the negative aspects of the rapid industrialization in England and encompassed artistic, ideological and political ideas. Architecturally, it was inspired by the look of the country cottage and manor house. In Vancouver and Victoria, architect Samuel Maclure was the most accomplished practitioner of the Arts & Crafts style.

The stylistic emphasis of the Arts & Crafts home is on their picturesque form. This includes asymmetrical massing, steeply pitched hip or gable roofs, with long ridge lines. Arts & Crafts homes are often compared to the Tudor Revival style. The main difference is that Arts & Crafts houses are more horizontal, with a closer relationship to the garden.

The entrance is an important feature of Arts & Crafts houses, as they were seen as symbols of welcome. Typically there is a discrete entrance with a covered porch that has a close relationship to the garden. Leaded glass is often incorporated into the door and multi-paned casement (swing open from one hinged side) windows are common. Chimneys are often prominent and cast in stone rather than the brick common in Tudor Revival homes. Eave overhangs and dormers are minimal.

Both in Vancouver and abroad, the use of local materials was encouraged in the Arts & Crafts home. In Vancouver, this included wooden shingles, siding and trim, as well as brick, stone and stucco. Many of the homes have smooth stucco surfaces with little applied decoration, though some include ‘Tudor’ half-timbering and medieval detailing.

The Arts & Crafts home is often on the grander scale, so here in Vancouver Shaughnessy remains the best place to find good examples.

OTHER ROOFS OVER YOUR HEAD

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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.

THE ROOF OVER YOUR HEAD | Getting To Know Vancouver’s Edwardian House Style

September 20, 2013 

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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.

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EDWARDIAN 1905-1915

In contrast to splashy Victorians with their elaborate trims and colours, the Edwardian is strongly influenced by the American “Four-Square” style which is typified by a box shaped floor plan, divided into four large rooms on the main floor. The simplified form of the Edwardian, which often came from a stock plan book, became extremely popular in Vancouver, with a variety of both simple family homes, and more embellished upscale examples with Classical detailing and proportion.

Like the American Four-Square, the Edwardian is a large box from the street. The exterior features a hipped roof, with a matching roof over the front porch. Many have sleeping porches, essentially a covered or partially enclosed balcony on the upper level, and bay windows on the lower level. The lower porch usually extended across the full width of the home, but was limited to the entry quadrant in more elaborate Classical versions. This allowed the elaborate living room window –sometimes with a Palladian (half arched) window, of these elegant homes to be showcased. Some of the Edwardians with a u-shaped interior stairwell projected out in a square bay beyond the plain sides of the house.

Windows were usually double-hung, with stained glass transom windows appearing on the higher ceilinged houses along with sidelights flanking the front door. Wainscoting with sympathetic detail such as a built-in hall bench is present in houses with the u-shaped stairwell. Classical versions had a columned front porch with elaborate brackets under the planked soffits and dentil ranges on the fascia. The exterior is most often finished with narrow lap siding, sometimes with stone at the base.

Edwardians of all scale and grandeur are found all over Vancouver, however there are some prime examples in Grandview Woodlands, Mole Hill, and the West End.

OTHER ROOFS OVER YOUR HEAD

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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.

YOU SHOULD KNOW: More About The Mid-Century Marvel That Is The Electra Building

September 17, 2013 

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by Stevie Wilson | Vancouver is a young city, one that features a remarkable development trajectory that sometimes muddies our concept of what is historic, what is modern, and what falls somewhere in-between. The city has grown exponentially since its incorporation 127 years ago, and while there still exists plenty of awe-inspiring heritage in every neighbourhood, it’s clear that development – namely real estate – has taken precedence over the establishment of heritage sites. Fortunately, the Electra Building at Burrard and Nelson is one of the unique examples where history has been accommodated to complement Vancouver’s ever-transforming identity as a modern city.

Built between 1955-1957, the 21-storey skyscraper was known then as the BC Electric Company Building, and features many of the recognizable traits found in mid-century postwar design. Noted Canadian architect Ronald Thom and lead architect Ned Pratt, of Thompson, Berwick & Pratt were the principal design team behind the iconic landmark, whose thin, lozenge shape reflected the Modernist trend towards geometric-inspired design. However, the building’s unique shape also served a practical purpose:

From Exploring Vancouver:

“It was B.C. Electric chairman Dal Grauer who (despite being in the business of selling electricity) insisted that every desk be within 15 feet of a window. . . Safir’s (Otto, engineer) solution was to have all systems distributed via the central shaft off which floors branch out, cantilevered, column free with daylight and a view for each worker.”

Hydroelectric power had been a prime focus of the postwar provincial economy, which relied heavily on grand infrastructure as a symbol of growth and development. In addition to numerous eye-catching structural attributes, the building features typical mid-century elements: west coast-inspired mosaic wall tiles and facade (the work of celebrated Canadian artist B.C. Binning), terrazzo paving, geometrical detailing, and re-enforced concrete finishing, among many others. Adjacent to the building lies the Dal Grauer Substation, completed in 1954; it currently sits on the Vancouver Heritage Society’s 2010 list of Endangered Sites.

The former BC Electric building was known for its iconic presence in the mid-century landscape of Downtown Vancouver, particularly because its lights were left on all hours of the day for several years (you know, to illustrate how cool hydroelectricity was). It literally stood as a beacon of industry, modernity, and prosperity, and for many years was one of the tallest buildings in the city. The spot featured an audio presence, too. Musical horns on the roof played the opening notes of “Oh Canada” each day at noon – a distinction now passed to the Pan Pacific at Canada Place.

Upon Grauer’s death in 1961, the operations of BC Electric were transferred to the province to be continued under the BC Hydro moniker, and the offices were eventually moved to Burnaby in the late 1990s. Years later, the redevelopment of the building into condominiums signaled the first major transition of its kind in Vancouver. In order to give this project the go-ahead, the city required heritage designation to be issued, with facsimile (operational) windows, porcelain, and other features installed to match the original aesthetics. The Electra, as it now stands, was the first post-1940s building in Vancouver to be granted heritage status.

For more information on the mind behind the design of the Electra Building, visit the new exhibit Ron Thom and the Allied Arts on now at the West Vancouver Museum.

YOU SHOULD KNOW EVEN MORE

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Stevie Wilson is a historian masquerading as a writer. After serving as an editor for the UBC History Journal, she’s decided to branch out with a cryptic agenda: encouraging the people of Vancouver to take notice of their local history and heritage with You Should Know, a Scout column that aims to reveal to readers the many historial things that they already see but might not undertstand.

THE ROOF OVER YOUR HEAD | Getting To Know The Queen Anne Revival House Style

September 16, 2013 

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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.

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QUEEN ANNE REVIVAL

Contrary to its name, the Queen Anne Revival actually has very little to do with Queen Anne having more to do with its vague historical reference to English architecture. The style is lovely and picturesque with asymmetrical style and massing, a steeply pitched roof. The quintessential feature of these multi-storey homes is the corner turret with a conical rood that adds so much whimsy.

Typically in Vancouver, Queen Anne’s also include bay windows and an open verandah. The chimneys have an added level of design with projecting levels of masonry, each layer higher than the last. These chimneys are known as ‘corbelled” chimneys. It is also a popular practice to paint the exterior colums, porch brackets, and the corbelled chimneys in an array of colours. Some exteriors include gingerbread detailing similar to that on a Victorian styled home, or ornate shingling and trim. The exterior cladding is often narrow or drop siding (also known as cove or Dutch siding).

Many Queen Anne Revivals were built for prominent early Vancouverites. Due to their charm and curb appeal, there are several well preserved examples in Vancouver. Roedde House in the West End is a great example of the Queen Anne Revival style. This buildings design is attributed to Francis Rattenbury, also known for the Empress Hotel in Victoria and is a charming addition to the Barclay Heritage Square. Roedde House is now home to the Roedde House Preservation Society who offers tours, teas and special events. In that same block is Barclay Manor, originally built in 1903, now home to the West End Seniors Network.

Over in Grandview is the Jeff’s Residence. Built in 1906 for Dr. Thomas Jeff, the house is a remarkable example of Queen Anne styling. With its octagonal turret and wrap around porch the home prominently sits at the corner of Charles and Salsbury. It is now the centre piece of a development project which saw the interior converted into suites, and townhomes added to the property.

OTHER ROOFS OVER YOUR HEAD

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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.

THE ROOF OVER YOUR HEAD | Discovering The “Early Cottage” Vancouver House Style

September 4, 2013 

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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.

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EARLY COTTAGE

The Early Cottage (1890-1925) is a slightly more substantial version of Vancouver’s earliest cabins and shacks. Small but practical, most early cottages are single storey with eaves that flare at the ends (known as bell-cast eaves) and a relatively low roof pitch. In most cases the attic space is so cramped as to be useless, but a few have steeper-pitched roofs that shelter narrow upstairs rooms lit dimly by the dormers. The front edge of the roof is supported typically by four square posts, although sometimes even small houses have more ornate grouped turned columns. Vancouver examples almost invariably have a bay window on one side of the front façade with the front door offset a little from the centre. Some have a cutaway front porch occupying only half the facade’s width, providing more enclosed living space behind the bay window. Many have a small dormered window right above the front doorway.

Inside, a parlour, kitchen and eating area occupy the bay-window side of the main hallway, while bedrooms and a bathroom occupy the other. These homes are simple and unassuming from the street, with very little ornamentation. However, the common clapboard siding and the occasional presence of dentil molding gives them added levels of charm.

LOCATION | Early cottages are found in most of Vancouver’s older residential neighbourhoods, such as Kerrisdale, Kitsilano, and Mount Pleasant.

OTHER ROOFS OVER YOUR HEAD

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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.

THE ROOF OVER YOUR HEAD | On The “Early Vernacular” Vancouver House Style

August 22, 2013 

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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.

early-vernacular

EARLY VERNACULAR

Early Vernacular homes – one of the pioneer styles in Vancouver housing - started as one storey houses with gabled roofs (pitched on two sides). They were often only one room deep and had a shallow front porch with several steps leading to the front door. In the late 1880’s, two storey houses with a full length pitched roof perpendicular to the street appeared with a bay window on the first and sometimes on the second floor above. In upscale versions a recessed balcony was seen over the front entry. Other upscale versions introduced a hipped roof, which slopes on all four sides. Many of these early homes were kit or pre-fab houses, mail-ordered through catalogue from companies such as Eaton’s and Sears, or built by BC Mills.

Early Vernacular homes can be most easily recognized by the details in windows and doors. Windows are double-hung with the upper half containing diamond-shaped leaded glass. Hall windows, front doors, and the middle pane in bay windows often had a single centre clear glass pane surrounded by a border of small square stained or textured glass panes. Front doors were paneled vertically with later versions introducing a large oval pane of glass or the more Victorian version of a single pane surrounded by a stained or textured glass border. The kit and pre-fab houses have a strong modular look with windows and door assemblies spanning the spaces between full height strips of vertical wood, called battens.

LOCATION | The Early Vernacular is most commonly found in Strathcona and Mount Pleasant.

OTHER ROOFS OVER YOUR HEAD

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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.

THE ROOF OVER YOUR HEAD | “Vancouver Specials” – What Makes Them So Unique?

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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 is providing Scout with an exclusive new series that we call The Roof Over Your Head.

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THE VANCOUVER SPECIAL

Unique to Vancouver, the Special was created in the 1960s in response to strict set-back and envelope laws enforced by the City. Favoured by engineers for easily accessible service areas, and by multi-generational families for their adaptable main floor, the Vancouver Special sprouted all over the Lower Mainland during the 1960s through 1980s. Built quickly and relatively inexpensively, there are variations to the style but a few defining features making them easy to spot on the street.

Always two stories, the exterior features an upper balcony that spans the entire front width of the house. The balcony is often made of simply patterned wrought-iron, with a stucco finished upper floor, and brick or stone cladding on the main floor. Their low pitched roof-lines, large front windows, and upper floor patio sliders are staples of the design. A lucky few will include a pair of stone lions positioned on pillars at either side of the entry path.

The windows were nearly all aluminum – mainly sliders in configuration although awning windows were also used for small windows or with a series of fixed windows immediately above or below them. Front doors were carved double doors or a paneled door flanked by sidelights – often amber plexiglass. The first floor often consisted of a family room off the entry with its staircase. Behind the family room usually with an alcove for a “summer” kitchen, were a number of bedrooms, a full bathroom, a utility room and a rear exit to the carport. The upper floor (like the Italian Piano Nobile) contained a front living room with a den area on the front, a small dining area with the kitchen and breakfast space behind opening out to the sundeck, while on the other side behind the den, the staircase came up to the centre of the house with the bedroom wing behind.

Location: Van Specials are found all over the Lower Mainland, however there is a predominance of both restored and original examples in East Vancouver (wandering Hastings-Sunrise and Commercial-Broadway are good bets)

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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.

“IDSWest” Gets Ready To Launch Three Day Celebration Of Art, Design And Architecture

September 23, 2011 

The Interior Design Show West (IDSwest) is coming up quickly, running from September 29th to October 2nd. It’s Western Canada’s premiere residential design show, and it’s gearing up to showcase some 200 curated exhibitors, all putting forward quality products and services to an audience of industry professionals, architects, designers, and consumers. It attracts over 28,000 attendees over three and a half days; roughly 22,000 of whom are avid design wonks looking to source and purchase some of the latest trends and innovations in contemporary home design.

Here are six things you shouldn’t miss… Read more

SECRET CITY: On Buildings Being John Malkovich In Chinatown…

Welcome to Secret City, a new column by Ian Granville, who will be taking Scout readers across the city in search of its architecture and design secrets each week. Granville studied art history, human geography, and urban planning before completing diplomas in sustainable renovations and timber framing. This summer, he is working with the Architectural Institute of British Columbia to research and conduct the architectural walking tour program.

by Ian Granville | Hiding in plain sight, an architectural oddity exists between the first and third floor of many historic buildings in Vancouver’s Chinatown. It is the half-storey, like the one at 529 Carrall St. pictured above, and reminiscent of the strange office space in Being John Malkovich depicted in the clip below. These were deliberate design features, and no…you probably can’t rent one for cheap. Read more

Cool Thing We Want #282: Adorably Tiny L41 Home As Seen At The “IDS West” Preview

We’re very happy with the home we have, but we saw this 220 sqft sustainable, high-design, high-quality, energy-efficient L41 home designed by architect Michael Katz and artist Janet Corne at the IDS West preview show last week and now we can’t stop thinking about how great it would be to scoop up a little piece of dirt on one of the Gulf Islands and plunk this ultra-compact abode on it.

The L41 home IDS WestIMG_2866IMG_2863IMG_2870IMG_2861IMG_2834IMG_2851

EVERY COOL THING WE WANT

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