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Vancouver House Is Clad in Corrugated Metal

Oct 01, 2023Oct 01, 2023

"I like the magic of metal. It has a big universe. You can do things with metal that you can't do with other materials." – Frank Gehry

Back in 1977, Frank and Berta Gehry bought a pink 1920s Dutch Colonial bungalow on a prime corner lot in Santa Monica, California. The innovative and now-world-famous architect wanted to experiment with materials he was already using — metal, plywood, chain link fencing, and wood framing. Instead of tearing the bungalow down, Gehry chose to wrap the house with a new facade while leaving bits and pieces of the old exterior visible. He also added tilted glass cubes to some parts of the house. Many of Gehry's neighbors were angry about the unconventional architecture, but the house is now regarded as a masterpiece and an icon of modern design.

In 2013, architect Alex Glegg was tasked with the expansion and renovation of a tired 1970s house in North Vancouver, British Columbia. He chose to incorporate design elements from Gehry's Santa Monica house, including corrugated metal cladding and a focus on container-shaped forms, which extend from the original cedar frame. Today, the house is an eye-catching blend of Vancouver vernacular style mashed up with Gehry's funky and unmistakable influence. While the house strikes an industrial tone with the corrugated metal, the surroundings could not be more verdant and natural, neighboring a park and a babbling brook known as Wagg Creek.

Original 1970s elements have been conserved and updated and large windows connect the natural world with the interior. Set on about one-third of an acre, the house offers almost 4,000 square feet, including six bedrooms and three bathrooms dispersed over three levels. The vaulted ceiling in the living room is clad in strips of wood, the dining room is airy with soaring ceilings, and the kitchen, which is looking kind of 80s and not in such a good way, is flooded with light thanks to a huge skylight. There's a double-sided stone fireplace in the family room and a second double-sided fireplace in a lower-level rec room.

The Gehry-esque residence is available for $2.2 million via West Coast Modern.

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