Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mayhew Residence

One of Ron Thom's earliest houses is on the market. The Mayhew Residence in Victoria, BC was built in 1950, around the same time as the Copp Residence in Vancouver. It's a one storey structure nestled into a site that gently rolls down toward the water, now surrounded by mature and yet still meticulous landscaping. The house looks to be in excellent shape for it's age, largely unaltered except for a small addition done in the mid-1970's that was commissioned by the Mayhews - who occupied it from the time it was built until last year - to expand the master bedroom.

Unique features include a 'pinwheel' floorplan (possibly influenced by Neutra's work, as Doug Shadbolt points out in his book,
Ron Thom: The Shaping of an Architect), a butterfly roof that runs along one wing of the house, admitting southern light into the kitchen and service areas, and copious glazing along the side of the house that faces the water. It is a very private site, virtually hidden from the street on high bank waterfront. The house itself is perhaps less involved and more orthogonal than Thom's later work, but it's spare post and beam structure nonetheless displays a sensitivity to site, quality of light and spatial arrangement that were to become his trademarks.

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