house was designed for a narrow city lot (33ft wide) with neighbours on both
sides. Residents access the property via the back lane and double garage while
visitors enter from the street at the front of the house. There are views
of the mountains from the north-east facing front of the house while the kitchen
and dining areas face south-west into the sun. With limited garden space,
the owners wanted a sunny family room with decks and views from the 3rd floor.
Privacy from neighbours was an essential consideration.
family room on the 3rd floor opens onto the front and back roof decks making
an expansive space in summer, while the gas fire place in the alcove makes
for a cosy spot in cold weather. The open floor plan on the 2nd/main floor
provides expansive views out both front and back windows. The 12ft ceilings
in dining, kitchen, living and study sections with windows set at 8ft provides
light but privacy. The opening in the entrance hall ceiling allows one to
look up at the ceiling on the 3rd floor. The large window on the upper stairwell
throws light onto both sets of stairs and provides interesting views over
the adjoining houses.
approach to this city house, from front or back, is under the covered walkway
which has a roof supported by 8 inch diameter concrete pillars. Both front
and back doors open into a common entrance hall. An 6ft coat closet seems
free standing because it is surrounded on both sides and top by glass blocks.
A 4ft x 6ft opening in the ceiling allows one to look up at the ceiling on
the 3rd floor.
the stairs one arrives on the second floor landing. Looking to the left one
looks across the living room out a 10ft wide floor to ceiling window - and
turning to the right one looks through a similar 10ft wide window on the dining
room side. The half walls on either side of the stair well allow one to look
over the stairs making the 46ft distance from front to back window appear
spacious. The ceilings in the kitchen, dining, living and study are raised
to 12ft and each has three 2ft square windows set at 8ft off the floor - to
provide interesting light patterns as well as privacy from the neighbours.
study is an interesting space since it is 16ft long, 6ft wide, with a 12ft
high ceiling. It has a 10ft high by 2ft wide window facing the front, with
the three 2ft square windows set high in the side wall. The space could be
left open to the living room, or closed behind double glass doors, but the
intention was to provide a private office or computer space plus a solid wall
in the living room. On the opposite living room wall is a gas fire place under
a high ceiling with a similar window arrangement.
the kitchen a door leads into a laundry room with under counter washer and
dryer. The wall backing onto the stairs has floor to ceiling shelves for groceries
etc. A second door leads to a toilet which is secluded in this open spaced
second floor. The kitchen has a large island with eating bar on the dining
side. A low cushioned bench in front of the large window, plus comfortable
dining table chairs, makes this the space where family and visitors tend to
'hang-out'. Underneath the second flight of stairs is a broom/vacuum closet.
the second set of stairs one passes another large window (10ft wide x 6ft
high) which throws light onto both sets of stairs and down through the floor
opening into the entrance hall. The window also provides views over adjoining
houses. From the large family room one looks through windows to the north
and south onto private decks. One can also look over the stair rail down to
the entrance hall two floors below. The 14ft alcove opposite the stairs has
a gas fire place.
to the first floor entrance hall, one enters bed room #1 to the front of the
house. A sliding pocket door opens into a walk-in closet, from which a door
opens into a bathroom. This bathroom has a soaker tub set behind a 16 inch
step with protruding glass block side walls. The whole tub room is tiled -
ceiling too - making it into a shower room with two shower nozzles. The bathroom
floor is tiled with a floor drain set just below the tub step to remove any
splashed water. Under the tiled floor is a heating coil to keep the floor
warm throughout the winter months. The second bathroom has a similarly warmed
floor. Bedrooms #2 and #3 share the second bathroom. The hot water tank is
located in the storage space under the stairs where it's close to the bathrooms
is this house affordable?
this house has 2699 sq.ft. of interior living space (plus a 480 sq.ft. garage)
the construction is simple and repetitive - for example, the four raised ceilings
on the 2nd floor are identical. These are supported on 12ft span grider trusses
set on point loads. The 3rd floor roof comprises 18ft span flat trusses -
2ft deep to accommodate adequte insulation. Flat roofs are more economical
to build than the traditional pitched rooves - this is the 21st century and
we do have torch-on sheet materials which are far superior to multi-pieced
shingles. The torch-on material is covered by 2 inches of concrete on deck
surfaces - and ceramic tiles can be laid on the concrete for a more up-scale
finish if required.
questions? Don't hesitate to email Plum Design and ask. Suggestions will be