Homes Photo Credit: Ema Peter

Sneak Peek: Inside North Vancouver’s Unique Edge House

With striking angles and incredible outdoor living spaces, this North Van house is the perfect marquee for this year’s Modern Home Tour.

Sometimes, zoning restrictions can be a frustration—and can stifle creativity and originality in design, resulting in cookie-cutter neighbourhoods. But every so often great designers and architects can take on these restrictions as a challenge to create something different.

Architect Kevin Vallely designed the Edge House for friends who were keen to build a unique home in North Vancouver’s Edgemont Village. It’s an area that’s been afflicted with monster homes in the past, and in an effort to shift that dynamic, city bylaws now dictate that the square footage of any home’s second floor cannot exceed 75 percent of its first. It’s a sledgehammer approach to a problem, but still Vallely found opportunity in it. The angled roofline of the home creates a striking profile, but also allows for a 450-square-foot roof deck just outside the main hallway on the second floor.

In fact, the home is surrounded by outdoor living spaces. On the main floor, the kitchen and living room pivot around an outdoor space, the roof of which provides the support for the roof deck above. Its position outside the main living areas creates seamless indoor-outdoor living, while the covered aspect means the patio can be used well into the fall—particularly when the heaters kick on.

Vallely designed the Edge House to allow for lots of light while preserving privacy, which the clerestory windows in the living room achieve.
The patio by the front entrance is still relatively private, thanks to a cedar screen and sunken design.

And, near the front entranceway, there’s another outdoor oasis, one that’s private despite its proximity to the road. Slightly sunken a by few steps and screened in with landscaping and a cedar slat fence, it’s an ideal sunny spot for a morning coffee.

And the Edge House comes by its name in more than one way, says Vallely. “There’s the shape of the building itself, with the strong edge on top,” he explains—though its location might have also been inspiration for taking an edgier approach to design overall. “I loved the idea that it was really on the edge of the city and the mountains.”

The Edge House appears on this year’s Modern Home Tour in Vancouver on September 16. For tickets and info, click here

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