This 1962 Ron Thom house was the final and the longest stop on the West Coast Modern Homes tour this past Saturday. Its owners have spent a lot of effort to renovate it and also graciously lent it for a reception held by the museum. In a time when many West Vancouver modern treasures have been replaced by McMansions or giant gaping holes awaiting McMansions, it is fantastic that its latest owners chose to preserve it and to share this cultural artifact with others.
As they are still renovating it, some of the characteristic elements are not yet in place. Again the pictures are not great, but my visit was!
glazed entry corner
elevation that faces the view-click on image to enlarge.
the view - definitely worth enlarging - it is truly incredible!
view from the living room.
roof planes colliding in the living room.
another view of the south elevation.
fireplace corner in the living room.
Detail of partitions meeting the ceiling and of hallway light fixtures.
The site determines much about this house - its massing and even the angles of the house's roof planes (same angle as the site's slope). The roofs appear to hover above the landscape as the vertical elements that support them recede visually, as large steel beams cantilever the roofs out. This is furthered by contrasting the lightness of the glazing frames with the heavy concrete base. The drama of the scheme is in the roofs and was economical to achieve by simplifying the rest - the layout, the finishes, etc.
Inside the designers overlap spaces, creating complex spatial composition and sequencing that Thom was always spectacular with. The fireplace, too, manifests prominently - Thom, like Wright, always seems to have placed a great importance on the hearth. Here it is more streamlined than such others of his that I have seen, and more moving for it.
The house got a Massey Medal (a GG of earlier years) in 1964. To see the house as it was then, photographed by Selwyn Pullan, click here.
I will try to post more pictures from the tour and from my other recent walkabouts soon.
Also - keep checking the map to the right, not only does it include this post's subject, but I am constantly updating it!