It is day three of our distraction from the Winter Olympics, where we’re featuring some of the very best contemporary modern architecture from Vancouver. Our third property featured this week is the Shaw House, designed by architectural firm Patkau Architects.
The Shaw House won several design awards in the years immediately after construction was completed, including the prestigious National Honor Award in 2005 from the American Institute of Architects. The reason it drew such attention is due to the fact that the designated site for the Shaw House unkindly dictated that this single occupant residence could not be greater than 8 meters wide (26ft or so).
With the design gauntlet well and truly thrown down, the design team at Patkau Architects took up the challenge and met the restrictive waterfront site head on with creativity and innovative design that resulted in arguably one of the most significant architectural designs of recent years.
The swimming pool was built above ground, along with the residence’s other private areas, such as the bedroom, with the general living areas built at or below ground level. As Vancouver is a risk area for seismic activity, the notion of a pool situated above the home’s main living areas presented an architectural challenge that required the house to be built entirely out of reinforced concrete.
We love the fact that the Patkau design team met the challenge head on, using materials and methods to create such a stunning and functional home. Wherever you look in the Shaw House, there is creativity and innovation – the use of high ceilings to create additional luminosity and a feeling of roominess, the impeccable and stylish planning of functional living space and the additional strengthening of the structure to accommodate the design – and this sets it apart from many other smaller home designs and justifies the many accolades it received.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 17 February, 2010