A client with a penchant for travel hoped to transform her two-bedroom penthouse in the new Vancouver House tower was conceived as into a welcoming and a warm space for living, socializing, and displaying the client’sher collection of art and natural artifacts. Positioned on the tower’s northwest side, the two-story unit features expansive views of English Bay and the North Shore Mountains, which the designers hoped to weave into a layered and balanced environment that looked both inward ands much as it did outward.
Through an iterative design process, the studio and client arrived at a highly bespoke, biophilic design that is attuned to the passage of time. Using the owner’s daily routinesituals as a guide, the designers sequenced the interior to maximize views and quality of light. The second-floor master suite, where morning light is most abundant, opens onto a vista of the surrounding water. Procession from the master suite traces down a half-turn open stair, which features a copper-laced, firefly-like Bocci lighting installation made up of hand-selected, multicolored glass elements in pink, orange, umber, green, and blue. At sunset, the penthouse’s first-level kitchen, dining, and living spaces look ontoare set aglow by the Vancouver city lights. In the living room, modular, multidirectional seatingfurnishings resemble landscape formations, supportsing guests’ various postures and orientations.
Spaces including the first-floor office, living room, and second-floor study look onto a lush, glass-walled atrium. This vertical garden forms a spine for the penthouse, extending through the second floor and onto to the unit’s roof terrace. Conceived as a microcosm of the Pacific Northwest rainforest, its centerpiece is a full-size red cedar tree that lends a contemplative and grounding element to the onlooking interiors. The terrarium further reinforces the sense of time passage within the project: The ecosystem surrounding this tree will be sustainednourished long term by a “nurse” log, which replenishes the space with nutrients from decay.
A restrained material palette characterizes the interiorproject, and setsting a rich, organic background for the client’s impressive displays of art and artifacts from her travels. American black walnut makes up millwork in the living, kitchen, and bath areas, and is also seen in stair treads. Modern, blackened-steel accents run throughout. Floors, which feature radiant heating, are made of creamy travertine mare bianco, as are the custom-milled sinks in the bathrooms. Smoky fior de bosco marble linesgraces powder-room walls.
The penthouse’s sizable kitchen opens onto a dining area, creating an ideal zone for entertaining. Extending the unit’s social areas by nearly 1800 square feet is the aA large roof deck, which can be accessed by a personal elevator, extends the unit’s social areas by nearly 1,800 square feet. There, architects have installed a custom-designed, stainless-steel hot tub, as well as an outdoor shower, a garden, a kitchenette, and plenty of seating, establishing a highly hospitable, open-air setting for family and friends.