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architect's retreat, a home intervened by three generations of architects + designers

ORIGINALLY BUILT IN 1958, THE ARCHITECT’S RETREAT IS FULLY UPDATED AND READY FOR ITS NEXT CUSTODIAN

 

Located in Vancouver, Canada, the Architect’s Retreat is a residential structure previously occupied by three generation of architects and designers. Originally built in 1958, the house has gone through dedicated renovations directed by the different owners, fully updating it to fulfill contemporary necessities. 

 

Listed by West Coast Modern, this cabin in the woods recently sold for nearly $2.4 million — 10% above its asking price.

architect's retreat, a home intervened by three generations of architects + designers
images by Jesse Laver + Yan Timo, courtesy of West Coast Modern

 

CREATING A SENSE OF SPACE LARGER THAN ITS SQUARE FOOTAGE

 

Built and owned by Henry Yorke Mann — a contemporary of Ron Thom and Arthur Erickson — the Architect’s Retreat is located on Clements Avenue in North Vancouver. The original cedar box structure was built at a cost of $8,000 and encompassed only 700 square feet and one bedroom. Made with double tongue-and-groove cedar, the walls were not insulated.

 

‘For Mann, the place of the architect is alongside great composers, musicians, painters and poets who aspire to fully express the beauty, depth and mystery of humanity.’ – Architectural Institute of British Columbia (AIBC)

architect's retreat, a home intervened by three generations of architects + designers

 

Thirty years later, the house changed owners when architect Perter Buchanan bought it. He began his own renovations, which included the addition of two stories. The resulting 1,910-square-foot plan contains the main bedroom and a den, and a two-bedroom basement suite below. Building on Mann’s design, Buchanan tested out experimental ideas that would lead to some of Vancouver’s most iconic buildings.

 

It was in fact Buchanan who gave the Architect’s Retreat its current form, drawing inspirations from aerial and nautical designs.

 

‘The new structure was built by repurposing old building materials,’ Buchanan told West Coast Modern. ‘In fact, all of the fir needed was supplied by one single old growth blown down fir tree taken from Sea Schelt. It was a model and experiment for sustainable environmental design. Anne and I lived in the home for 26 years and raised our two kids Nevada and Max in the home and neighborhood until we sold it and moved to Whistler in 2015.’

architect's retreat, a home intervened by three generations of architects + designers

 

‘Finding the right buyer was not easy as it’s effectively a one-bedroom house on a small lot. Buyers kept telling us they could get double the house for the same price,’ said Trent Rodney from West Coast Modern.

architect's retreat, a home intervened by three generations of architects + designers

 

The current owners — the Noel family — local designers themselves, completely restored the house maintaining the original feel of the home, while improving its livability. The project earned them North Vancouver’s 2018 Heritage Award.

architect's retreat, a home intervened by three generations of architects + designers

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architect's retreat, a home intervened by three generations of architects + designers architect's retreat, a home intervened by three generations of architects + designers

 

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architect’s retreat, a home intervened by three generations of architects + designers
 
architect’s retreat, a home intervened by three generations of architects + designers
 
architect’s retreat, a home intervened by three generations of architects + designers
 
architect’s retreat, a home intervened by three generations of architects + designers
 
architect’s retreat, a home intervened by three generations of architects + designers
 
architect’s retreat, a home intervened by three generations of architects + designers
 
architect’s retreat, a home intervened by three generations of architects + designers
 
architect’s retreat, a home intervened by three generations of architects + designers
 
architect’s retreat, a home intervened by three generations of architects + designers
 
architect’s retreat, a home intervened by three generations of architects + designers
 
architect’s retreat, a home intervened by three generations of architects + designers
 
architect’s retreat, a home intervened by three generations of architects + designers
 

project info:

 

architects: Henry Yorke Mann & Peter Buchanan
builder: Jason Hart (now Hart Tipton)
designed and built: 1958/1994

photography: Jesse Laver and Yan Timo 
asking price: $2,195,000
sold for: $2,375,000
specification: early example of environmental design
program: West Coast Modern
floors: 2 level + basement
rooms: 1 primary bed + den, 2 bed basement suite
square footage: 1,910 sq. ft.

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