Vancouver based architects Scott & Scott have recently transformed an 1950s post and beam home into a modern-day retreat for a couple of Canadian history professors. Nestled at the base of Grouse Mountain amongst wooded surrounds, the goal for the redesign, remodel, and restoration was to celebrate its connection to nature, while preserving the property’s historical charm and bringing it into the 21st century.
While the original floor plan was respected, the architects striped it to its elements in order to lighten and create an overall sense of airiness. An initial step towards this goal included the replacement of an original enclosed stair with and open steel one. This not only created a sculptural statement but also allowed light to flow freely between levels. The overall sense of airiness was furthered by opening up the kitchen and implementing a single, ground-level divider of plywood storage cabinets.
The material palette was kept simple – maintaining the home’s history through the use of traditional finishes designed to show wear over time. The original walls were finished in a natural lime-base white wash, pale Douglas fir beams were finished in white lye, and the existing glossy concrete flooring was refinished to a buffed matte. Cabinetry was also lye washed and sealed with soap and the steel staircase and fireplace were treated with a fascinating mix of wood stove paste and bowling alley wax. But the pièce de résistance of it all is the 1763 lb slab of marble that makes up the kitchen counter and sink. For all its weight and drama, the architects seamlessly worked it into the space by creating a visually light, ash shelving, support structure.
As for the furnishings, the architects gave a nod to the structure’s mid-century past by filling it with period classics including Hans Wegner’s iconic Whishbone Chair and CH25 Armchair – warming it all up with an of-the moment dose of cozy fur throws.
In the end, the transformation from mid-century mountain home to a modern day retreat ticked all the right boxes – maintaining links to the home’s history and natural surrounds all while creating a contemporary environment with a strong forward-looking aesthetic. Scott & Scott Architect was founded in 2013 by partners in business and love David and Susan Scott.
1. Organic Sheepskin Throw
2. Wegner Armchair
3. Little Gem Table – Dshop
4. Marble Top Table
6. DaMoon Korean Tableware – Dshop
7. Zebra-Striped Throw
8. Marble Stool