From Friday’s edition of The Vancouver Sun, in an article about the upcoming Modern Home Tour by Shelley Fralic entitled ‘Open Doors’: “Two of the homes feature the handiwork of the four-year-old boutique Vancouver firm One Seed Architecture and Interiors. One is called the Narrow Passive House, the other the Geometric House. Both are contemporary paeans to the indigenous building bounty of B.C., utilizing generous amounts of cedar and other woods on both the interiors and exteriors.
The 3,900-square-foot Geometric House in North Vancouver was renovated in 2011, transforming a 1970s post-and-beam into a sleek and dramatic angular home with an open-concept plan that includes a glass atrium entrance and a metal-clad addition.
The firm’s rectilinear Narrow Passive House in Vancouver is a recently completed new build, but focuses on eco-conscious features such a green roof and a three-storey thermal mass wall that helps control the heating, cooling and venting capacity of the home. Horizontal stained cedar and fibre cement panels define the exterior and continue the eco esthetic.
One Seed’s architect Allison Holden is from Calgary but found her professional appreciation in the “materials that speak of the space,” by which she means the cedar and stone and muted natural palette that so define British Columbia.
She calls her style not so much mid-century modern as West Coast Modern, but the terms are not mutually exclusive because both ultimately incorporate clean lines, simplicity and openness. Her interpretation, she says, is just “a little less clunky and a little more airy.”
Nor is she surprised that the style is so popular these days, given the confusion of Metro Vancouver architecture in the 1980s, which saw a hodgepodge of housing styles (California tile roofs?) transforming the local skyline.
Her clients, she says, include younger couples who have always loved modern and are making it their architectural choice, but also older homeowners who are starting to appreciate a style they may once have eschewed.
Holden sums it up rather neatly: “The esthetic of modernism has come back to its timeless roots.””