June 6, 2011
Recreating a Heritage Home
Through much drama and three long winters, this Tudor-style home was stripped to its bones and completely rebuilt inside. In an impressive blend of old and new, it has maintained its traditional exterior while emerging with a stunning, contemporary interior.
BY BRIDGET SAVEREUX
The saying goes: “Every person has a story.” Ask any designer and they will say the same goes for any design project.
To say there was “drama” with this particular three-year residential project would be an understatement. The home was a traditional Tudor located on a prestigious street in the heart of Vancouver. It was deemed a Heritage home, so the architectural firm, Pacific Architecture Inc., and project managers, Artisan Construction, had to deal with some heavy red tape before we could even set foot on site.
Due to its Heritage status the house had to maintain its almost exact exterior appearance, so technically it was considered a renovation. However, the home was stripped down to its bones, so by design standards, it was really considered a “new build.” The client, who spoke very little English (another barrier), loved the traditional appearance of the exterior but wanted a contemporary feel inside the home. A very fine balance had to be created in order to maintain a connection between the exterior and interior.
It was an exhilarating and, at times, arduous process. But, after seeing three long winters come and go and living through one extended city strike, it finally came to a glorious and bittersweet finale in January, 2010.
In the end, our gracious and endlessly patient client was very pleased with the results and that is always the most rewarding benefit of any project and the motivating factor that gives you the energy to start the next one.
The challenge for the living room was to create an elegant entertaining space that also had to be comfortable in order to function as the main-floor family room. Above the fireplace, a walnut box houses a 42-inch TV that looks like a decorative mirror when not in use. The Montauk couches, upholstered in soft velvet, are perfect for afternoon tea or a lazy Sunday nap.
The entry is one of the most soothing and simplistic spaces in the home, which is the perfect feeling to have in any entrance area. The custom-designed concrete bench was cantilevered and then integrated into the new fireplace surround. We wanted the beautiful reconstructed windows to be the star of the show, so we chose lighting to complement them, but not outshine them.
The fireplace in the master bedroom, surrounded with custom cabinetry housing the TV and a mini fridge, was placed on the opposite side of the room from the bed. The layout of this small master bedroom was completely redone to make room for additional built-in closets. They were placed on either side of the bed and painted the same colour as the wall to create the illusion of more space.
This 2011 Georgie Award-winning space is every teenager’s dream. The client wanted a separate area in the house where the kids could relax and entertain, but we also had to integrate several other functions into this main area – a satellite kitchen, massage and exercise room. The use of glass and a monochromatic colour scheme created the feeling of more light and openness.