Excited by the starkly modern interventions devised for the back of the house, the First Shaughnessy Advisory Design Panel urged Measured to continue our vision as we went forward with Phase 2: landscaping and the creation of new interior spaces elsewhere on the property. Working with Paul Sangha Landscape Architecture, the Measured team brought the remainder of the 13,801-sf site to life.
Our vision was to create a series of wildly varied zones that still made sense under one umbrella: formal plantings in line with typical neighbourhood landscaping, a sports court area and pavilion for active leisure, a trellised walkway that connects the verandah to the garage, a fenced-off area before the pool, a serene area at poolside, and a walkway leading to a Stuart Sproule-designed play structure and the poolhouse—all in a treed area not unlike the coastal rainforest found in Pacific Spirit Park.
This was an exceptional project. We were able to protect the formal facades of the house while introducing modern living components through the building, off the back of the building, and through into the garden space.”
In contrast to the preservation of much of the main home’s original exterior appearance, the cornerstone of the project’s second phase was a modern, steel-clad cubic structure. The top portion houses a two-car garage and wall-mounted bicycle storage system. Below that, the pool house stands in cool relief as a modernist geometric form angling on the perpendicular to the infinity pool edge.
Inside the pool house, we stayed true to the interior finishes introduced in the 2012 main home renovation. The kitchen, which features a marble countertop and backsplash wall, stretches half the length of the west wall, making it simple to prep for a snack-fuelled movie night. The marble flows onto the walls and floors of the expansive steam shower and changing area. A sleeping pod, hidden within a black walnut-clad box occupying the centre of the main space, opens onto the pool house living room. An outdoor shower stands at the ready just outside the main pool house door. The upper exterior portion of the structure is clad in mirrors, which not only camouflages the vehicles parked inside the garage, but also effectively multiplies the lush backyard plantings. Black solar panels were integrated—physically and visually—into the top of the structure to heat the pool four seasons of the year.
The Sangha team both preserved the existing greenery and introduced a variety of indigenous plants to the space, rewilding wherever possible to reduce the need for watering, pesticides or fertilizers. Measured requested that storm water infiltration tanks be used to allow rain and storm water to flow into the soil, which also reduced the need for active watering.
We gave much care to creating a meandering path that acts as a nature walk for people making their way between the main house verandah, the pool and the pool house beyond. A firepit and hot tub carved from quarried stone provide secluded areas to relax and unwind while a canopied walkway allows for dry passage between the house and garage in case of incumbent weather. Concrete driveway pavers lead the way to one of the clients’ must-haves: a basketball court at the garage entrance.
With its juxtaposition of modern and historic elements both inside and out, Shaughnessy House beautifully illustrates that the best way to be respectful of the past is by not trying to replicate it.