Grade House

Grade House in East Vancouver began with a focus on quality over quantity. Our clients carefully considered the space they needed for their single-family home, opting not to build the maximum allowable floor area for the lot. This was a move distinctly against the norm in Vancouver where property values are astronomical.



It was important to our clients, a landscape architect and physics professor, to optimize the grade relationship of the main floor living space with the garden. The slab-on-grade design that emerged maximized the landscape opportunities of this 33′ x 120′ lot by keeping the main level finished floor just above the exterior grades and eliminated window wells. The plan was kept open and the form simple.


This was a study in functionality. Every space was required to provide more than one function, and scrutinized to maximize efficiency and the available view to the garden.”

Piers Cunnington


The construction process involved ongoing edits to ensure that only elements essential to the design were included. With the clients’ needs at the fore, we worked to achieve a simple, low-maintenance building using standing-seam metal, stucco cladding, aluminum windows and a polished concrete floor throughout. As a result, this project was built within 10 months and successfully delivered within 5% of the ambitious budget.



Views available to the front and rear garden extend the sense of space far beyond the building’s envelope, providing the experience of generosity within the spaces while keeping the footprint small.