Renovation: A Home
that Breathes


Location: Vancouver
Client: Private residence
Renovated: April 2007
Architect: David Wong
Area: 3,650 sq ft

When we rehabilitate and re-use, or re-purpose older buildings, less demolition material is diverted to landfills.

This 1950s home houses over 30 aquariums and terrariums for tropical fish, plants and frogs. The animals and their habitats create a lot of moisture. It was not energy wise to keep electric fans on to circulate, and exhaust the humid air. This home had to breathe naturally.

The house was renovated to facilitate natural air circulation with openings through floors and walls– vertical wall slots and floor gaps that enabled stale air to exhaust through a central stairwell skylight. On a warm day, the opening of the skylight helps cool the homes' spaces through the system of floor gaps and wall slot openings. This free flow of air keeps windows free of condensation– discouraging problems associated with fungus, mildew, and mould. An additonal benefit of retaining some older homes, is the ability to maintain and build on its existing placement and setbacks formulated on earlier zoning regulations.