Thursday, October 11, 2007

Romer Residence 2

Here is a photo from a recent visit to the former site of the Romer Residence in West Vancouver. The second and third photos were taken prior to demolition.

The site is now a study in contrasts of architectural approaches. According to Modernist thought (and especially that of the West Coast School) whereby a building's relationship to the land is of paramount importance, the Romer Residence sat perched upon a rocky outcropping that acted as a resting point on the steeply sloping lot. Though some shaping was presumably done when the house was built, the general forms of the land remained and were accommodated in the design.
This approach was meant to strengthen the relationship to the natural world and embrace existing conditions, acknowledging their inherent value.

The first photo shows a radically different tack where the landscape has been considerably altered to accommodate the architectural design. Extensive blasting has been done to create a large, flat base to build on. Where the site was once more convex in general shape, it is now concave with much of the blasted rock forming a loose retaining wall at the lower right corner of the lot.

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