Randy Bens architects recently finish a renovation project to add a new floor to an existing 1954 bungalow, which is situated in a post war suburban neighbourhood in the city of New Westminster, BC. The existing house was an L-shaped bungalow which was too small for clients.
The new floor would be the domain of the parents, and the boys would acquire main floor bedrooms of a more suitable size. The addition would be composed of a studio, master suite, and a deck to take advantage of the view.
The main floor interior was left largely in tact and the simple palette of hardwood floors, wood trims, and off-white walls was continued throughout the new second floor and serves as a neutral backdrop for the clientâ€™s art collection. The result is a warm interior punctuated by colour, and an intense play of light generated by the screen. A new steel stair unites the two floors, and the solid wood treads match the recycled fir flooring which is used throughout the second floor. New millwork is constructed from a mixture of Appleply and Plyboo bamboo plywood. The millwork in the ensuite has Paperstone (recycled paper) on the counter and tub tops, while the walls are clad in blue back-painted glass. A composite recycled tile is used on the floor and shower walls to complete the palette.
The overall massing was influenced by the desire to stack new program on existing walls and by the creation of a new exterior space on the second floor with access to views and sunlight. To counter the vertical nature of the resulting mass and shade the south facing living room, a horizontal screen was introduced which gives the composition a more restful and balanced appearance.
To further reinforce the horizontality of the screen, a concrete planter wall was introduced at the ground plane. The vertical cedar siding, gently sloping roofs, exposed glulam beams and rafters are all present, but contemporary in their composition. Bright rolled zinc panels were placed above and besides existing window openings, and then aligned with new openings above. A simple through-wall flashing detail serves as a datum for window heads, mullions and sills, and is present on all facades.