Shared between a grandmother and her grandchildren, the Cloister House in Vancouver, Canada is a quiet refuge within the city. The residence was envisioned by Measured Architecture Inc. and includes a laneway house extension, consisting of a dwelling-unit and a small garage. Despite its contemporary shape, the retreat looks quite inviting: “Materials commonly perceived as cold were manipulated to achieve a palette of textural warmth inside and out: hand-worked masonry, charred board-form concrete walls, and blackened steel are the textural triptych which provide a sense of harbour”, the architects explained.

Contrasting elements are present in the overall design, where deliberate industrial darkness merges with organic nature shapes and playfulness: “Whimsical kid-friendly elements are present, from an undulating boulder landscape to custom steel slides that run alongside the internal staircases. Local artist, Fei Disbrow, designed a weathering steel wall sculpture and ladders that serve as backdrop for the pocket garden allowing filtered light to enter while providing privacy from neighbors. The hilltop site offers long views of the mountains and ocean which are balanced with shorter internally-focused views to the intimate pocket garden.” Enjoy the virtual gallery! [Photography by Nic Lehoux and Andrew Latreille]