VHF 2013 Mid-Century Modern Tour, August 17th


DATE: Saturday August 17, 2013
TIME: 12 noon – 5 pm followed by a wine & cheese reception
ADMISSION: $85 for self-guided tour, www.vancouverheritagefoundation.org

Now in its 7th year, Vancouver Heritage Foundation’s Mid-20th Century Modern House Tour opens five (5) examples of 1950 – 1970s architecture to ticketholders for an afternoon tour.

Mid-Century Modern architecture has developed an enthusiastic following in recent years. People are appreciating its clean lines, the close relationship between indoors and lush West Coast landscaping, and their wonderful open spaces. Post World War II modernist architecture in Vancouver developed a regional style that responded directly and imaginatively to the omnipresent landscape and weather: the forest and waters of Burrard Inlet, high rainfall and the grey light against the backdrop of the Coast Mountains. The local implementation of Modernist thought and design was brought about by a relatively small, skilled and enthusiastic group of professionals that exerted a remarkably broad influence on local society during the 1940s – 1960s.
Vancouver nurtured what the Vancouver Province in January 1953 called ‘a growing creative spirit that yielded a new renaissance of building.’ The city attracted architects in search of new experiences, and a new manner of living.

2013 Mid-Century Modern Tour Details

Open on the August 17th tour are Architectural designs of Fred Hollingsworth, Robert McKee renovated in 2007 by Nick Milkovich, Harold Semmens, Don Fairbrother and the design-build company of Lewis Construction who designed and built hundreds of houses in North and West Vancouver. The houses include:

  • 1960, Harold Semmens house off SW Marine Drive with a 2001 Jim Heinmiller designed rehabilitation. The ‘T’ shaped post-an-beam house presents a blank face to the street and opens to forest and landscaping behind. It has been beautifully restored.
  • 1956, Robert McKee University Endowment Lands house with a 2007 Nick Milkovich renovation and Cornelia Hahn Oberlander landscape. The scale and light of the original house were retained as was the courtyard which is now a reflecting pool.
  • 1953, Fred Hollingsworth 2,200 sq. ft. house in the lower British Properties strongly demonstrates the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright on the work of Fred Hollingsworth. The Wrightian influence is evidenced in the deep eaves, wood sash casement windows, custom built-ins and furniture, dropped ceilings with custom designed lighting, and the emphasis on horizontal lines using cladding and brickwork.