Integrating a classical Chinese residential composition with state-of-the-art construction, Haeccity Studio Architecture introduced a single-family home of this dualistic style in Richmond, BC.
The location is appropriate; with an established East Asian demographic, the unterior of the residence responds to the cultural intersection of East meeting West. The single level, zero-barrier layout was driven by the client’s desire for a home where they can age in place.
As Chinese scholars and residents of the neighbourhood the clients lived here for over for nearly fifty years. Haeccity Co-founder Shirley Shen: “The strong north-south axis and progression through space along the cardinal line came from a completely eastern perspective, but the architectural language is of current time and place.”
Fengshui & Siheyuan
The layout is based upon the fundamental principles of fengshui and the siheyuan courtyard typology, which carries a history of over 2000 years. Essentially is a covered courtyard surrounded by buildings on four sides. The building borrows from this traditional hierarchy in the layering of spaces; a guest is received at the south end where the foyer is separated from the living space, and invited northwards should they share enough intimacy. Further north constitutes private space reserved for the head of the household.
“Because the clients have a large extended family and regularly receive visitors, we wanted to think of it more as a village than a house. It’s a collection of private pods that plug into the large central shared space,” elaborated principal Travis Hanks.
The architects sought to connect the central space with the outdoors, by opting for double height NLT (nail-laminated-timber) ceilings, automated clerestory windows, and French doors looking out to the garden at the back. The rock garden and cedar wood cladding that greets one at the entry flows from outside to inside.
Haeccity Studio Architecture is based in Vancouver, Canada with a repertoire of work spanning character revitalization, single-family homes, multi-unit buildings, restaurant and office interiors.