UBC SALA Modern House Series: Copp House

On October 26th, we hosted the launch of the latest in the SALA Modern House Series, Copp House by Adele Weder with photography by Michael Perlmutter.

In 1950, a young Vancouver architectural apprentice was handed a small house project that his boss was too busy to take on. The apprentice, Ron Thom, took the simple plan and rectangular foundation that had been roughed in, and transformed it into a groundbreaking work of architecture that gained national fame. Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright and Richard Neutra, but using local wood and paying careful attention to its verdant oceanside setting, Thom created a landmark for the new architectural movement known as West Coast Modernism. The client, Dr. Harold Copp, was himself a trailblazer, the first head of the physiology department in the University of British Columbia’s new Faculty of Medicine and a research pioneer. Generously illustrated with both vintage and contemporary architectural photography, line drawings, and photographs of the architect and residents, the Copp House is the story of a cultural landmark on the shores of Vancouver.

UBC SALA Modern House Series

Merrick House is a documentation of one of the jewels of West Coast Modern architecture, a home that, as a young architect, Merrick built by hand on the steep wooded slopes of West Vancouver, BC in the early 1970s. The photographs by Michael Perlmutter bring out the wonders of the architectural space and materiality, and the text by Tony Robins explores Merrick’s influences, the many spatial moves he employed and the changes made over time with successive renovations.


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Mario Bellini | The Essence of Innovation


Last month, we had the pleasure of hosting Mario Bellini – iconic Italian Architect and Designer –  who shared his thoughts on his work and inspirations since the 1960’s.  Prior to his talk, we took Mr. Bellini to see the Museum of Anthropology, designed by our local favorite Arthur Erickson.  This mildly Brutalist building seemed to please Mr. Bellini – it’s sensitivity to the environment, and use of materials spoke to some of Bellini’s work which he described at length to us later that evening…

Bellini is a fascinating designer, and someone who has helped mold Modern design since he graduated from Milan Polytechnic with a degree in Architecture in 1959.

He is the winner of 8 Compasso d’Oro awards and the MoMA holds 25 of his designs in their permanent collection. Throughout his career he has moved between the worlds of design, architecture and interior design by applying design principals on a variety of scales.  His many influences are diverse and range from the human body to classical architecture, fashion, and animals.

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House Shumiatcher Book Launch

Last week, we welcomed Leslie Van Duzer of UBC’s SALA and Judah Shumiatcher to our showroom. They discussed significant moments during Architect Shumiatcher’s career, inspirations and how he came to build a very special Vancouver home for his family.

There are still copies of the publication available in-store and for online purchase. Signed copies are available upon request.

Coast Modern Film

From LA to Vancouver, a legacy of inspired living by the pioneers of West Coast Modernist Architecture. The film will be shown at Vancity Theatre July 6 through 13. The will be Q&A periods during some of the nights.

A Copper Crown for Gastown

Inform is located in the oldest commercial district of Vancouver – Gastown. Circa 1900, Water Street (then called Front Street) was where Vancouver first started to become a city. Many of the building’s facades have been maintained and kept true to the spirit of old Gastown.

Gastown in the early 1900s.

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Mies van der Rohe | The Will of an Epoch

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was born on March 27th, 1886, as Ludwig Michael Mies, in Aachen, Germany. Classically trained as a stonemason, at 19 he moved to Berlin where he worked for Bruno Paul, an art nouveau architect and industrial designer.

Mies’ professional focus was to define new architectural and design styles that reflected a more modern and industrialized time. Along with Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier, Mies is widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of Modern architecture. His infamous quotes “Less is more” and “God is in the details” ring true to his architectural projects as well as his furniture and interior designs. He promoted purity in his minimalist style which was often referred to as “skin and bones” architecture by Mies himself.

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Prefabricating Good Taste | Preform & AA Robins

We were first introduced to Preform Construction at the IDSwest event held at our showroom last week. Alongside architect AA Robins, Preform is breaking the prefabricated home mold; if you are familiar with prefab homes, it is plain to see that this customizable housing system is far from ordinary.

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Elma Bay Residence

Planned as a grand sweeping crescent opening to the spectacular vistas over the pebble beach, north across Georgia Strait to the Coast Mountains, the internal spaces flow along the ocean shore and open to the views. The concave courtyard embraces the sheltered warmth of the southern exposure.

The planning for this complex of house, studio and garage mediates between the warmth of the embraced by a courtyard formed by the concave form of house and studio building and the spectacular views up and down the coast of Vancouver Island and the ocean and mountains of the northern coast with a sweeping convex form. The exposed beams curve through space highlighting the circulation gallery and peaking your sense of curiosity as to what lies beyond. The arcs continue outside as a formalized and unifying landscape element between the buildings, gardens and the forest beyond.

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SANAA Architect | Kazuyo Sejima


Recently Kazuyo Sejima (above right) of SANAA Architects was named the director of the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennial, the first women to hold the position.

Together with Ryue Nishizawa (above left) they have recently worked on projects such as (below left to right) the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, the Kanazawa museum of Contemporary Art, and the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion. Their work is speaks of honesty and is often transparent in some form, nothing to hide but everything to show.


Their homepage http://www.sanaa.co.jp/

Along with Architecture, Kazuyo Sejima has worked with a few manufacturers on some wonderful designs.
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