The Collingwood House

The Collingwood House is a unique local collaboration between an established practice and an emerging studio to create a living accommodation that is responsive and personal.

Upon winning the Beebreeders’ Microhome competition in 2019, Bla Design Group received the Collingwood House as their first commissioned project. They invited Campos Studio to collaborate on the small-scale residential building, which utilizes its immediate context and the local climate to generate a sensitive contemporary house.

Photography: Andrew Latreille

The project draws from the Craftsman housing stock that formed original settling of Vancouver. From this, ideas of the porch, cover and textural facade became part of the design. From the West Coast Modern tradition, careful attention was paid to the transitions between interior space and garden. The resulting dwelling tied together these typologies found in the surrounding neighbourhood. Transparency, texture and light drove the interior and exterior of the house.

Photography: Andrew Latreille

Photography: Andrew Latreille

A blackened gable roof wraps the dwelling, defining its form amongst the winter’s dull grey skies, with windows letting in light from above. As the seasons change and the trees begin to blossom, the form remains defined but the textured cedar facade and blends into the natural environment.

The interior of the house is light, airy and soft contrasted by warm wood and black detailing throughout. This palette allows for a calm and relaxing atmosphere, especially during the grey winter season. Large corner windows are positioned beside a floating staircase, allowing natural light to flood the entire length of the living spaces.

Photography: Andrew Latreille

The site is situated on a downward sloping lot overlooking a small dog park, creating an unobstructed view of the Northeastern mountains and Downtown Vancouver.

The landscaping in the rear of the house steps down, allowing an abundance of natural light to enter the basement living spaces. The basement’s recreational room is also a space that can be converted into a second master bedroom with it’s own ensuite bathroom.

The materiality of the exterior is one that reflects the climate and mood of the pacific Northwest. The natural stained cedar cladding hints at the lush forests of British Columbia and the metal roofing is a low-maintenance material that suits a rainy climate.

An asymmetrical gable roof is present to maximize the height of the dwelling. The gable shape extends to create a prominent massing outline and provide weather protection at the entry.

The vaulted ceiling of the second floor follows the shape of the roof, resulting in various open and volumetric spaces. The house has cantilevering balconies on the first and second floor, allowing each living space to extend into the backyard. The main access through the rear of the house is located at the basement level so that there is convenient access from the garage to the mudroom and storage areas.