Projecting out from a hillside in the Canadian city of Vancouver, this contemporary house by Splyce Design maximizes its views in a variety of ways. With two distinctly different personalities wrapped into a single design motif, the residence expands significantly as you descend down its profile from front to rear. While its streetside edge is exceedingly minimal and private, the side of the building which faces the valley below is filled with glass window walls and outdoor amenities, clearly meant to entertain and provide as much enjoyment of the surrounding scenery as possible. Limitations of construction on the property led to a number of impressive design innovations in the design of the dwelling, resulting in a number of cantilevered rooms and decks with unharmed natural land beneath. The house features a number of elevated green spaces as well, with grassy garden plots present above protruding ceiling sections of some main-level rooms.
Both inside and out, a universal array of finishes is employed. One dominant element, especially at the far front and rear edges of the house, is concrete, used to frame entrances and decks. Medium- and light-hue wood is seen on decks, in public rooms, and on various built-in decor elements, and metal is used to provide accent to staircases and to delineate different spaces. The house is a split level inside, with a two-story-tall grand entryway and an open staircase preventing such an arrangement from seeming closed in. The furniture and materials used inside are luxurious yet clean and minimal at the same time, creating a comfortable and clean environment for living.
From the front, the residence actually looks rather compact. Most of the girth of the house stretches out of the hillside below, so the portion of it which sits above street level is fairly small in comparison. In addition, the front facade of the house is much more smooth and closed off than the rear, contributing to its minimal look on the street side.
By contrast, the rear edge of the home is much brighter and more complex than the front, with open decks, cantilevered rooms, and outdoor living spaces placed at varying depths and heights.
On the side, a dining room is cantilevered over the adjoining landscape to add floorspace to the house without violating local laws governing the amount of the property which can legally be covered. The frameless room also offers views both into the forest and down into the valley below.
The frameless design of the dining room’s window walls is quite sleek and visually compelling, providing unobstructed sight outward. A few minimal metal rods provide support for the roof overhead, while most of the structure holding the wing up is underneath its floor.
You can move from level to level on the exterior of the house, allowing somebody in an upstairs bedroom to go to the pool without passing through the public spaces below. The home’s stairs are the same design both inside and out, constructed from a mix of metal, glass, and concrete.
The entry to the home is double-height and offset from center, in the form of a four-panel window pattern with the front door in one corner. The house is a split level, with a short flight of steps down to public rooms and another flight up towards bedrooms.
The dining room’s wing is uncluttered with any unnecessary side furniture, keeping each of its three glass walls completely free from clutter. The table itself is a sturdy piece made from light-colored wood, with rectangular looks very reminiscent of the architecture at the home’s rear.
When eating in the dining room, occupants are surrounded by the property’s woods on nearly every side, and are suspended over the landscape below them.
The kitchen employs a black and white contrast, split at a wall corner, to add visual interest to its design. Plenty of storage is built into the walls, while an off-center island provides a casual eating space without getting in the way of the right portion of the room, which is characterized by its wood cabinetry and a thin window framing the sink.
Minimal, squared-off cabinetry in the kitchen leads to a system of shelving above the living room’s fireplace, all in a single built-in structure. The living room itself is a couple steps down from the kitchen, and is one of the few areas of the house where wood floors are substituted for the concrete seen everywhere else.
While the bottom set of steps is solid, the flight leading upstairs is constructed in floating style, allowing rays of patterned sunlight through into the kitchen and living room. The concrete wall at the stairwell’s side is punctured with hundreds of small holes within each slab, forming an engaging pattern.
From the landing on the top floor, a view out towards the entrance reveals the grand scale of its construction, with light streaming in overhead and a dichotomy of concrete and painted plaster divided angularly.
With a bank of windows along the side of the house, the master suite gets plenty of light without any fear of prying eyes through the forest at the property’s edge. Many of these windows can be slid aside, with a glass railing directly beyond to let air in and make the suite a built-in deck.
The master bathroom continues the concrete floors which are present everywhere inside the house, but has black tiles along its walls and light wood cabinetry and polished fixtures, giving it a significantly different atmosphere. At the center of the room, a freestanding bathtub forms a rectangular focal point.
Another of the home’s bathrooms is characterized by lighter tones and more minimal surfaces, with a walk-in shower defined by two glass panels which fit over the extended surface at the room’s edge instead of creating an entirely separate area with a different finish.