Our tale begins on Mayne Island where our clients were mulling a renovation of their retreat spectacularly situated at the prow of one of the highest points on Mayne Island. This was a very ‘90s house. Our clients wanted us to train the yellow-cedar hippie out of it — to distill it back to something simpler and more evocative of the environment. They had a budget carved into stone at the beginning. But ultimately, as we went on this design journey together and a strong trust bond was established, they chose to grow it. The results are worth it.
Key to the project was rethinking the way in which the building engaged with nature — without touching the nature. Preservation of landscape was a must. We ultimately utilized the existing structure to work as a scaffold for the new veiling of the building, a sculpturally serene black façade featuring a swooping roofline beyond that. We also chose to tame the extensive views through window framing, bringing the windows down in size to keep the building more humanistic in scale.
We sought to make the house more weathertight, too, as it was originally built in a manner that leaked. It was vital to take into consideration the weather: perched at the top of cliff with a 500-ft drop, wind and rain were constantly driving into the structure. We were able to put our extensive environmental and window envelope skillsets to good use, bringing current envelope science to the project to help create a greater interface between the natural environment and the home within. The original house also lacked a deck. Our inspiration was to create an outdoor seating area at the “beak” (front) of the building (hence the name Raven House), with the deck cantilevered over existing terrain so as not to intrude on the natural environment around it. In contrast to the black, angular volumes of the exterior remodel, the existing yellow cedar interiors were neutralized with a palette of whites and greys. The walls, structure and ceilings were stripped and painted to render all surfaces uniform, with the texture and materiality of the natural material showing through. This served as the perfect backdrop to the clients collection of sculpture and artworks, transforming the house into a private, personally gallery now cohabiting with nature and the residents.
Designed for contemplation, the building now stands transformed into a haven for the clients, a culmination of a space guided by collaborative efforts of all hands involved. Our clients now have many options from which to watch their incredible sunsets. See, we told you — a happy ending.
Measured Architecture is a Vancouver-based studio practice focused on modern design, interiors and landscapes. From our inception in 2007, we have delivered exceptional public and private environments that are stimulating to occupy and fundamental to their surroundings. Founding principal Clinton Cuddington was joined by Piers Cunnington in 2009. Since that time, Measured has created a portfolio of work that demonstrates an ability to craft considered, innovative and quality projects.
We practice situational modernism — a subject-based, humanist approach that considers a project through the aspirations of a client, the opportunities of a site and the constraints of a municipality, budget and schedule. We work to understand these need sets and move forward to create ideal spaces based on these criteria. Thoughtfulness and flow permeate our firm’s designs, as projects shape into backdrops for our clients that are at once functional and aesthetic.