The East Van House is located on an atypical 50-by-75-foot lot with no lane access (compared to the standard 33-by-120-foot lot) that backs onto a schoolyard. The neighborhood is eclectic and colorful, with streetscapes that reflect the diversity of the community and its inhabitants.
The house is designed with a dominant asymmetrical geometry to comply with the prescriptive zoning requirements for the area while also providing space for the tall, main stair volume that rises 26 feet from the floor to the peak of the ceiling. Skylights above are sized and located to avoid views to either neighbor and allow natural light to penetrate deep into the northern part of the house. Windows on this side face the street and are decidedly small to ensure privacy. A low window, at the widened main floor stair landing, is carefully calibrated so one sitting in the adjoining library can gain discreet views out.
While the two-bedroom house is tailored for a single professional, it includes room to grow on the upper floor, where an open office is roughed-in for a bathroom and planned for an easy conversion to a third bedroom.
The main floor is bisected from east to west with a continuous line of steps and fireplace, separating the kitchen and dining from the living area. To the south, a wall of sliding glass doors extends the space onto the deck and garden and erodes any clear division between the interior and exterior. Similarly, sliding glass doors in the master bathroom extend the shower and tub space onto a private, cedar-screened deck, enhancing the spa-like experience.
A simple interior palette of materials and white walls allow for dynamic plays of light and shadow throughout the day — continual sources of inspiration and comfort for the client.