The Cloister House is a grandma’s house located in Vancouver, Canada but it doesn’t look anything like the typical type you’d expect to see, given the function. First of all, this is a modern home that Measured Architecture Inc built for a grandmother and her grandchildren. Also, it’s not outdated, rustic or old even though it feels as cozy as you’d expect it to.
The house occupies a hilltop site that was originally occupied by a bungalow dating back to the 1940s. Instead of demolishing the bungalow, the architects decided to sustainably deconstruct it in order to salvage, recycle and reuse as much as possible of the materials.
As a result, over 90% of the building materials were saved and used in the new project. The architects specialize in creating buildings that are fundamental to their surroundings and for that they have to get back to the basics.
The site is now occupied by two structures. One is the main house and the other is a guest house. The main house measures 223 sqm and is a three-story structure. Its exterior is made of blackened steel and wood-marked concrete and this gives it a really cozy and attractive look, making it seem like a rustic home without actually being one.
The guest house is a 35 sqm structure placed behind the main building. It includes a one-car garage and a storage area plus, of course, the living areas. It was built into the sloping site and the sleeping area is subterranean.
Given the small size of this structure, there’s a lot of built-in storage and plenty of other space-saving design solutions were also found and adapted to the interior. The design is eclectic, combining industrial details with organic features and a lot of playful elements. The green roof gives it a beautiful touch.
The palette of materials used for this project includes hand-worked masonry, concrete walls, polished concrete floors and blackened steel and, although they’re cold, the design and ambiance they create are not sharing this characteristic, being defined by textural warmth.
A steel wall sculpture/ ladder designed by local artist Fei Disbrow provides a beautiful backdrop for the garden. The garden, at its turn, offers lovely views for the main house. The location also allows it to have views of the mountains and ocean. In addition, the main house also overlooks the green roof on the guest house.
This beautiful house has a lot of kid-friendly elements, starting from the boulder landscape that complements and ending with the custom steel slide for the kids that was built alongside the interior staircase.