The artist Hans Hofman once said, “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”
The necessary speaks clearly and eloquently throughout Cube House, a laneway home located on Vancouver’s west side. A compact 650 sq ft, the split-level “cube” is a highly curated exercise in creating a compact structure for live, work and play.
Cube House’s unique sloping site allowed the architects to keep the stature of the building within the flat roof height while allowing something deeper and more efficient to emerge over two levels.
The upper level hosts the living/dining room, kitchen and a north-facing balcony with breathtaking snapshot views of the North Shore Mountains. Indeed, Measured trained all the big windows to the north not just for the views but to gain light and heat from the sun. Situating the sleeping area — master bedroom and sleeping pod — and bathroom on the lower level has resulted in a cocoon-like environment that also has the advantage of lower cooling costs in the summer.
I chose Measured because I saw a house they built that enchanted me right from the first moment. I wondered if they could bring that kind of architecture and design to a small project such as mine. The outcome was everything and more than I could have imagined. It’s like a piece of sculpture in my back yard.”
Cube House client
During the interior design process, Measured worked closely with the client. Materials were highly curated, with consideration of function, form and budget. A palette of blue and white hues, parquet wood and concrete flooring provides an elegant backdrop. The kitchen and bathroom feature tiled walls, with the floor of the bathroom a splurge of stamped, Moroccan-style porcelain tile that adds a dash of cheekiness to the proceedings.
Built-in plywood cabinetry throughout the rooms keeps the flow calm and connected while adding precious utilitarian storage. Where possible, furniture does double-duty, providing both comfort and more storage. Measured designed the dining/work/study table in collaboration with Caliper — the pull-tab enables it to become larger or smaller depending on what’s required in the moment. Carpet on the stairs assists with sound dampening.
Outside, the tongue-and-groove wood and metal cladding give Cube House its modern, arresting look.
Unlike many laneway homes that stare right up at the “big house,” Measured situated the home to be perpendicular to the main house to give the occupants of both privacy. That this also helped to manage light from an energy perspective is a bonus.
A family of three is currently renting Cube House.