Architecture studio Edmonds International has designed a house called Reflections Villa in Vancouver that consists of two glazed wings and a central pond that form a “peaceful city sanctuary”.
Designed for a family of six, the house sits on a forested hillside in West Vancouver – a municipality outside of Vancouver proper – with views of the city and ocean. The site presented various challenges, including an eastward slope and creek setbacks.
The owners desired a retreat-like residence that aligns with their love of nature and modernist “crisp line” architecture.
Edmonds International – a global firm headquartered in Vancouver and Mexico City – conceived an 800-square-metre, V-shaped dwelling that balances transparency, reflections and views.
Lighting conditions played a central role in the design. In particular, the home was designed to harvest southern light in the winter while protecting from over-exposure during the summer.
“Light, captured by the sun’s daily trajectory and seasonal changes, was the key element in creating this peaceful city sanctuary,” the architects said.
The team used an array of building materials and incorporated elements such as fire, water and greenery into the landscaping.
The home’s foundation is made of exposed concrete, and the roof is covered with dark metal.
Exterior walls consist of glass that helps “blur the line between interior and exterior spaces”, the team said. The east and west facades have double-paned, black glass that is highly reflective on the exterior.
The home’s two wings frame a central pond, which works in tandem with the glazed surfaces to create an interplay of reflections.
“Center stage, this reflective pool projects a dancing refractory of natural light, animating and softening the neutral modernist surfaces of both living wings,” the team said.
Below the pond, steps infilled with Japanese grass lead to a teak deck and a swimming pool.
Within the full-time residence, one finds a division between public and private zones.
The home is entered on the west via a bridge. The west wing holds the communal spaces – a living room, kitchen, dining space and family room, along with an office.
Stretching between the living room and kitchen/dining area is a three-metre-long, open hearth with a floating flute wrapped in black mirrors. The fireplace helps divide up the space and reflects the outdoor gardens and city views beyond.
The east wing contains the main bedroom suite, three additional bedrooms and a gym/sauna – all of which offer a strong connection to the landscape.
“A sloping, angular private bedroom wing playfully mimics the distant green foothills and opens to private, outdoor garden decks,” the team said.
“The gentle sound of a backyard creek contributes a quiet and peaceful audioscape.”
The home also has a lower level, which holds a media room, garage and wine cellar.
Interior finishes include polished concrete flooring, elm kitchen cabinetry, and white oak millwork in the main bedroom. A feature wall is made of book-matched, Italian marble with grey and lilac veining.
This project marked Edmonds International’s first single-family home.
Other homes in Vancouver include a house by Splyce Design that consists of stacked, glazed boxes set into a hillside, and an urban, family dwelling clad in pale wood by Leckie Studio that serves as an “alternative to the status quo”.
The photography is by Ema Peter.
Architecture: Edmonds International
Builder: Hart Tipton