Not your usual cookie-cutter houses

Vancouver Special and Creative Room organized a gingerbread house extravaganza (source). Vancouver architects and designers have created baked goods that are being auctioned off to benefit the homeless of Vancouver - click here to bid. In no particular order, here are the houses (click to enlarge):

D'Arcy Jones


Shape Architecture

University of BC School of Architecture
and Landscape Architecture

Measured Architecture


Bricault Design

Bruce Carscadden

All are on view at Vancouver Special as well.

Update: the link to bid is fixed - good luck bidding!


Holcim Winner

A Vancouver project picked up one of the Holcim awards this year (source). Larry McFarland Architects' North Vancouver Outdoor School received an acknowledgment prize for its carbon-neutral and zero net energy design - more can be found on the firm's website about this school. It was chosen from a pool of 5000 projects.

A site section and a schematic section of the school:


Upcoming: Focus of Binning Residence

A neat event, put on by the Land Conservancy of BC which I LOVE :
  • Focus on B.C. Binning Residence - The House, The Artist, and The Architecture: Presented by the Land Conservancy of B.C
  • Friday, Nov. 21
  • 2968 Mathers Crescent (that is - at the Binning House!), West Vancouver
  • Doors 7 p.m., presentation 7:30 p.m
  • Light refreshments will be served
  • Cost: $75 + GST with $45 tax receipt
  • For registration and information call 1-888-738-0533 or visit www.conservancy.bc.ca
In addition to the Binning House, the Conservancy also owns Baldwin House by Arthur Erickson and they rent it out currently at a rate of $275/ night - if anyone is coming to Vancouver (*cough* Burnaby) this is a fantastic alternative to a hotel.


On now + Upcoming: Surrey Art Gallery

These events are worth a trip out to Surrey. Surrey Art Gallery is located at 13750 -88th Ave (604-501-5566) and has put on an interesting show: "Sustainable Architecture in Canada" featuring 55 projects. It includes:
  • 41º to 66º Regional Responses to Sustainable Architecture (still making its way around the country) until Dec 21
  • Building Green: A B.C. showcase (sounds very promising - must remember to go! ) until Dec 14. Featuring Whistler Sliding Centre among others - image above.
  • Regenerative Architecture: Visions of the Future. Imaginations run wild until Dec 21.
What's more - Manufactured Landscapes by Edward Burtynsky Jan 17-March 22 focusing on BC shots, not yet exhibited in this province. A must, of course. Here is one of his lovely B.C. shots which might or might not be in the exhibit:

Image Post: Patkau's Shaw House

The house completed in 2000 is located in Point Grey was built for John Shaw. It is one of the Patkau's best works earning many distinctions among them : GG 2004, AIA Hon 2005, and Record House title in 2002. Enjoy:

Plans and sections ( the sections are truly incredible!)

Click on images to enlarge. Photos by Paul Warchol; drawings by Patkau Architects.


Upcoming event: Branko Kolarevic lecture

SALA presents a lecture by Branko Kolarevic on Wednesday, November 19 at 6pm (UBC campus, Frederic Lasserre Building, LASR 102). Here is the official blurb:
Branko Kolarevic examines an emerging trajectory in contemporary architecture enabled by the newfound capacity to digitally design and manufacture highly crafted material effects, such as pattern, texture, relief, or varied material properties. His lecture surveys practices whose approach to form and pattern varies from “ornamented minimalism” to “expressive exuberance;” it also describes the different digital techniques of material production aimed at particular surface effects.

Branko Kolarevic is an associate professor of architecture and Haworth Chair in Integrated Design at the University of Calgary. He has lectured worldwide on the use of digital media in design and production and has authored, edited or co-edited several books, including the recently published “Manufacturing Material Effects: Rethinking Design and Making in Architecture” (with Kevin Klinger). He holds doctoral and master’s degrees in design from Harvard University and a diploma engineer in architecture degree from the University of Belgrade in the former Yugoslavia.


With new laneway rental unit pilot approved by the City of Vancouver, one company profiled in this month's Vancouver magazine is more than ready to take it on. Smallworks of Vancouver, headed by Jake Fry and Aaron Rosensweet, has been developing small infill structures since their inception, such as the Durbach structure (above) that acts as a summer kitchen and winter garage.

Below - the Vancouver magazine piece by Jennifer Van Evra. Click on image to enlarge:
Skooker studios - his and hers:

Marston Studio - combination green house and storage shed:

Jungen studio - two structures: a studio and a storage space.

Gailan studio - a green roof workshop. Soon to receive a green roof itself:

DV Studio:

Dawson studio:

The Smallworks workshop:

I hope that soon there are even more design by Smallworks and others popping up all over Vancouver. There is certainly more than enough space, not just for rentals too.


Busby portrait

Frances Bula has authored a fairly long written portrait of Peter Busby in this month's Vancouver Magazine. The illustration by Dushan Milic (above) and some of the quotes (below) are quite interesting -

"The Victorians developed this notion that nature's over there and we're over here," Busby says in his John Malkovich voice, a distinctive blend of muted and forceful. "As part of that, nature was conquered, nature was subdued, nature was ploughed under to create urban systems. We now know better. Now it's time to declare peace."


As he'll cheerfully tell you, the Wall Centre turned out to be 10 percent more energy-efficient than any other building of its time. [] And in Dubai, he'll put in as much green stuff as he can, no matter what the client knows or cares about.

"If you can move everybody 10 percent, you'll have a huge impact. You know, clearly I need to do the leadership projects, but then you've got to kind of snowplough everybody else along," says Busby, who has honed the black art of making the business case for environmental design, keeping the costs down, marketing his concepts with slick and sexy graphics, and, if necessary, sneaking in the green stuff. Whatever it takes to get those doubting bottom-liners to buy in.


Busby was playing the role he takes on in these kinds of groups, a brusquer and more impatient Socrates of the development world, challenging them with one question after another.

Check out Frances Bula's blog - link is in the right sidebar.

CLIP / STAMP / FOLD images

Today was the last day of this CAG. I enjoyed the set up as much as the content: