A few years ago architect/builder David Hovey designed and built this house for himself and his family in Winnetka, Illinois, just outside Chicago. Like most of Hovey’s buildings the house is constructed of relatively simple materials, including perforated steel I-beams, and all its parts are designed to be pre-fabricated and then shipped in. The house took only two days to assemble. It’s airy and welcoming, minimalist without being forbidding, and really well decorated. It takes a lot of skill to use this much red and yellow without producing a mustard-and-ketchup colour scheme – how many architects, let alone builder/architects, are this good at interior design as well? All this house needs is an indoor swing; you could hang one just about anywhere. Via AD (article worth reading). Photos by Jon Miller and Hedrich Blessing. More on Hovey at mocoloco and here.
It would neither have to be so luxurious, large, nor use so much glass. The permutations and possibilities are endless and could be made to fit Canadian climates and needs.
It is always interesting to see what architects build for themselves. I tend to trust them more when they actually live in the buildings they design. Many, many do not.
“I’ve spent my career thinking about how to design buildings economically and efficiently,” [Hovey] says. “I want to create systems that go together simply, in a way that leads to rapid construction. By reducing the elapsed time between design and occupancy, I can save a lot of administrative costs. And I want to put everything together using standard products and familiar technologies, which saves even more.”
Vancouver could use builder architects like Hovey, people with a good eye and an interest in simple materials affordably assembled.