West Coast Modern Home Tour 2017

Living room of "Urban Farm" House. Photo and information courtesy of the West Vancouver Museum.

Guest author: Jordan Yerman

We all crave the larger architectural moments and design gestures uncovered during the West Coast Modern Home Tour presented by the West Vancouver Museum. Held on July 8th, there was plenty of delight to be found in the design aspects pitched at human scale—those loving details which convey an intimate sense of how someone inhabits a space in day-to-day life.

“Each home offered a different interpretation of structure, landscaping, renovation and interior decorating,” said Heidi Creighton, co-author of William Krisel’s Palm Springs: The Language of Modernism. She added, “It was a wonderful privilege to have some of the owners and architects present to answer questions and share personal history with their houses.”

The Urban Farm (Architects: Robert and Cedric Burgers; Interior Design by Marieke Burgers) features a bright, vaulted living and dining area looking out onto a gorgeous orchard. From grownups to grandkids, anyone can find community in the house’s multi-generational design.

The Thornton Residence (Architects: Frank Gardiner & Peter Thornton) features a balcony running the length of the upstairs where residents and guests can take in views of the Burrard Inlet, with each bedroom opening out onto it like one would find at a Mediterranean villa. Some sharp-eyed visitors might also encounter the home’s resident Siamese cat.

The Fred Hollingsworth-designed Neoteric House boasts plenty of personal history, and stretches the definition of “home” to emphasize the garden. Among the trees and vintage artifacts are several small outbuildings. These bright, cozy spaces are used for painting, music, and gardening.  

The elegant Madrona Residence, renovated by Marc Morisset working with Carol Moukhibier and Christos Marcopoulos of Studio (n-1), is a masterclass in minimalism, with Horseshoe Bay views from every room in the house. Cunningly-concealed cabinets separate the spaces from one another while supporting each room’s contextual needs.

The Beaton Residence, designed by Arthur Müdry in 1965, features a cathedral-like ceiling in the living room and a master bedroom suite defined by a mezzanine overlooking the living space and delicate wooden lattice. The glass walls let the wilderness influence the living experience.

This year a significant number of tour tickets were sold before the five homes were announced—there’s a trust within the community that great design is still out there, like veins of gold in the steep hillsides of the North Shore. One tour attendant surely spoke for most of us when she said, “I’m looking forward to what surprises may be presented next year!”

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For more information on the 12th Annual West Coast Modern Home Tour, visit the West Vancouver Museum website.

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