f s o a r k

Highlawn Residence



In architecture, time is tangibly spatial. Taken shortly after the project was completed, in the fall of 2014, the photographs herein preserve the surviving memories of an inceptive moment when the space first filled with time. Against the expanse of the wood floor and the alabaster walls, the southern light, admitted through the clerestory windows along the ceiling, swept like a clock’s arm across the living space. On the other side of the hall situated the low-lying strip windows that, in a single breath, captured a continuous scroll of the north shore mountains, magnificent under the calm northern sky. Whereas in smaller, private spaces such as bathrooms, natural light trickled down the dark, solitary interiors, counting time by the drop. In the architect’s mind, these images record the fleeting sensation of a new beginning, a blank canvas that awaits the inhabitants and the many seasons of their lives.

In designing Highlawn Residence, we continued our exploration on the temporal and emotional aspects of space, which have been standing preoccupations of our practice. Central to our thinking is the idea of essentialness, that richness in space and in life is proportional to the amount of superficiality we can do without, and what is truly meaningful can only be experienced slowly, in time passed.

Commissioned by: Private Client
Constructed by: Solid Wood Homes
Project Team: Imu Chan; Ashleigh Gibbs
Photographs and Text by: Imu Chan
Location: Burnaby BC
Completion: 2014