Located in Vancouver, Canada, the Groveland House by Mcleod Bovell is a three level residence opening up to spectacular views. According to the architects, “a wide footprint and generous building area allows the central living portions of the house to expand into double-height spaces. These tall spaces interact with a large roof plane with a shaped underside. This roof acts to bind the house together and create diverse, deep covered exterior spaces at all levels.” Seen from the street side, the residence is perceived as a relatively closed compact house with a peculiar geometry. The opposite facade is mostly transparent glass, opening up towards the swimming pool and landscape beyond.
The irregular terrain was creatively taken advantage of: “A gentle three-story sloping site offers significant connections to grade on all levels of the house: a green area on the upper floor, pool and entertainment on the middle level and more intimate views to natural bedrock at the lower level.” Colors and textures brighten up the rooms, which showcase a joyful, dynamic character. This is particularly noticeable in the open plan living room, where functional zones are well defined by using an array of different materials. [Photography by Ema Peter Photography and Mcleod Bovell]
The best architects can create designs which will give clients and the public things they didn’t even realise they wanted, and this is especially important when architects are given the difficult brief of creating structures in much-loved, iconic areas.
An example of a huge success is Heneghan Peng Architects’ Giant’s Causeway Visitors’ Centre in Antrim, Northern Ireland. Using the large difference in level across the site, the architects created two folds in the landscape. Bold, but not conflicting with the rather bleak natural environment, these folds draw all the man-made areas together and create one fitting man-made break in the natural landscape. In the words of the architects themselves, There is no longer a building and a landscape, but building becomes landscape and the landscape itself remains spectacular and iconic