Our unending tour of the most modern houses takes us north to British Columbia, where "West Coast cool" adopts new meaning thanks to Vancouver-based architect Kevin Vallely, of Kallweit Graham Architecture. The Chosun residence blends raw elements of nature with a clean, contemporary edge and touches of luxury that beg further exploration.
On approach, you can't help but notice the home's "inside-out" design that brings exposed wood rafters and beams to the surface, "illustrating a belief that the 'bones' of a building can often be the most beautiful and expressive part of it," according to Vallely. Rich wood and expansive glazed facades surround the contemporary yet utterly earthy bluestone chimney, which we consider to be a high point of the design.
Indeed, inside the home's open-concept main level you'll find the kitchen, living and dining areas circulating around this grand bluestone fireplace - the heart of this home. Visible from every angle within this open social space, the fireplace is a constant draw the anchors the home, both visually and physically, both inside and out.
Overhead, exposed Douglas fir rafters lead the eye from the cozy comfort of indoors into the looming landscape, which is visible through floor-to-ceiling windows. Views of mountains and ocean capture the best of BC.
Like its surrounding environment, stone and wood are an ever-present fixture that connects the house to its geographical home here on the south facing slopes of Vancouver's north shore mountains. An ultra-modern polished ceiling plays beautifully against the natural wood floors and large wood and stone kitchen island. A wood lattice-enclosed staircase features open treads and is topped by a massive skylight that lets warm sunlight flood the space below.
Vallely describes it best: "The Chosun residence represents a regional adaptation to a modern esthetic that allows it to straddle the seemingly incongruous worlds of a big city metropolis and rugged mountain landscape."
Kevin Vallely Design Inc.
Photo credits: Peter Powles and Kevin Vallely