By replacing an existing 1950’s split level home, Randy Bens Architect developed the House on Chilliwack Street in New Westminster, a suburb of Vancouver, Canada. The new residence combines highly modern features with a touch of traditional, reminiscent of the old structure: “The existing house was too small for the family, so a new floor was added containing a master bedroom, en suite, office and deck. The new upper floor cantilevers in two directions, and compliments the lower (original) cantilevered portion of the house.”
The exterior of the building reveals a geometric combination of cubes and rectangles with clear stained cedar siding and contrasting blue stone. Once inside, a sense of openness takes over the entire space: “The house feels very spacious in relation to its actual size. There are three ceiling heights used throughout the project. Careful window placement allows walls to be washed with light and views to be controlled“. The living area is the core of the home and facilitates the transition between the indoors and the courtyard with swimming pool.
What is new and exciting now can quickly begin to look tired and out of fashion, so the best buildings don’t just consider what will be interesting to look at now, but also how it might look to people in five, fifty or even a hundred years’ time. 2013’s hotly contested RIBA Stirling Prize went to Witherford Watson Mann Architects for their work on Astley Castle, Warwickshire. In what RIBA Past President Stephen Hodder has described as an extreme retrofit, the project essentially saw a new building inserted subtly into the heart of the old, with a new, two storey residence now hidden within the sandstone walls of the ruins of this medieval castle, to be used as a holiday home for up to eight guests
Inside the school, a wall made of cross-laminated timber separates classrooms from the main corridor, providing a space for storage and study. With very little to work with, the architects have managed to create a building that is much more than just the sum of all of its parts