A year after the launch of their practice architects Susan and David Scott have completed the refurbishment of the historic commercial space in their 1911 East Vancouver residence. Once a butcher shop and a long running grocery store, the space has been stripped back to a simple volume lined with Douglas fir boards and completed with black stained fir plywood millwork.
Using familiar materials from their region the architects built the space themselves with a couple of carpenters. The fir was supplied from a sawyer on Vancouver Island with whom they have worked for several years. Three fir logs were selected, milled and cut to suit the width and height of the space. The work was completed in a manner rooted in traditional methodology while utilizing the availability of modern tooling. The unsalvageable south facing storefront had been infilled by a previous owner and was restored to an area of glass consistent with the original size using a single high performance unit.
Informed by a desire to create work which is fundamental in its architecture and supportive of a variety of uses over time the priorities were to maximize the use of natural light, enhance the connection to the neighbourhood, use regional materials which have a known providence, and acknowledge the lumber based building culture of the Pacific Northwest.
The architects favour materials and approaches that wear in and appreciate over time, taking on warmth with maintenance. The interior fir boards are finished with a variant of a warm applied 19th century bee’s wax floor finish with the solvent replaced with Canadian Whiskey.
The tables (a first of their self produced furniture designs) are hand stitched finished leather tops on blackened galvanized steel bases.