Originally constructed in the 1970s, this renowned Arthur Erickson-designed house needed to be seamlessly upgraded and modernized without losing any of its unique architectural brilliance and iconic modernism.
In a house with almost no drywall finishes, and walls and ceilings made from clear-grade finished fir, we were challenged to construct lighting reveals, install fixtures centred over new furniture and perfectly align fixtures with adjacent concrete and steel components.
Retaining the home’s existing concrete elements meant we had to delicately consider how to add new finishes so they were exactly flush, achieving small reveals and crisp lines. To ensure new ceiling wood exactly matched the existing wood, we allowed it to age before installation.
We upgraded the air conditioning throughout the house to bring this modern home up to new standards, which required larger ducting in the ceiling than was available. Getting creative, we formed custom-sized cut-outs in the ducting to allow for recessed pot lights, which entailed custom-notching and positioning the HVAC for each pot light to the exact square inch using lasers. As a result, the ceiling remained at full height without dropping below the floor-to-ceiling windows.
Stainless steel accents on the drawer finger-pull channels, gable-end transitions and counter ledge above the cooktop round out this contemporary kitchen.
The transformation of this space called for previously covered concrete beams in the ceiling to be exposed, so we sandblasted them to make them appear as though they’d been visible since the 70s. Improving the performance of the over-40-year-old house also required spraying foam insulation behind the travertine tile wall to achieve maximum thermal insulation while maintaining a thin wall assembly that aligned with the concrete window frame.
More forethought was required to ensure the 1/8-inch stainless steel shelf above the tub was perfectly centred at a specific height before any tile or fixtures were in place and make certain it would line up with the future grout line.