This collection of three cascading houses known as Houses at 1340 was designed by Office of McFarlane Biggar for Harbourview Projects. Located in North Vancouver, B.C., the homes share panoramic city views to the south and lush ravines to the north.

Privacy and transparency meet in these houses, built with a passion for custom design. Site-specific architecture takes advantage of the grounds’ natural beauty, creating an aesthetically inspiring setting.

“Down a quiet cul-de-sac, the three identical homes, all clad in shades of grey, step along the sloping lot, resonating with the surrounding greenery as well as the nearby bungalows,” say the architects. “From the street, two-vehicle carports with attached coach houses screen in an interior courtyard and create a sense of privacy on the ground floor.

“The massing of each home’s second level also plays with privacy. The upper-level balconies are recessed within wrap-around enclosures, distinctive forms that are visible from the street, but which block out the sight of the neighbors from within.”

Divided into private and social spaces, each of the three houses has cleverly planned interiors and, with 3,857 square feet, enough space for extended family members when they visit. Photographs taken by Ema Peter show the Houses at 1340 from several perspectives.

According to the architects, “The more public spaces — the living and dining areas — face south, to Vancouver’s skyline. The more private areas — the kitchen and the master suite — are nestled in the quiet of the ravine. The best of both views is experienced on the full, rooftop patio. The stair access is positioned so that it isn’t visible to the neighbors, creating the illusion of a completely flat roof. Once up top, the homeowners will enjoy an uninterrupted survey of their surroundings.”

Remember the Gambier Island House, the impressive modern residence integrated into a rocky landscape near Vancouver? That home is also in these architects’ design portfolio.