Every year, The Modern Architecture + Design Society's (MA+DS) signature Modern Home Tours are a chance to see some notable modern residential architecture. This year, of course, the Austin-based design society (which showcases modern architecture US and Canada-wide) is making the all-too-familiar pivot to virtual tours, happening this Saturday for tickets holders.

There's one silver lining to pandemic-induced virtual home tours: we're travelling all the way down the West Coast from Vancouver to Seattle, from Silicon Valley to San Diego to see the spotlighted homes. (All while we're curled up in the comfort of our own). 

The four featured homes in this year's Best of the West Virtual Modern Home Tour will be explored using 3D imaging (we'll get a full 360-degree walkthrough), as the host and designers guide us. "We explore the homes as a group and discuss the project’s story," MA+DS founder James Leasure says. 

Ticketholders can tune in to view a farmhouse-style home by Synthesis Design in Vancouver, plus a mid-century modern multi-family home designed by Nakhshab Development & Design in San Diego, a country home in Silicon Valley by M Designs Architects and an urban renewal-inspired townhouse designed by Hybrid Architects in Seattle. 

Urban Renewal projectPhoto by Rafael SoldiThe Steel Stacks in Seattle embody one of Hybrid Designs' ambitions— creating beautiful density.

The featured Vancouver home—a playful West Van house by Synthesis Design— takes a classic farmhouse shape with a modern twist. The designers looked to materials like Trespa HPL panels for the soffits and inset facades to modernize the barn-like shape. Wallshell concrete fibre board panels and standing seam metal roofing wrap down one of the home's facades.

Those tuning in will be guided through a lower vaulted entryway (that fittingly divides the "L"-shaped floorpan) to the open concept and central kitchen, all the way up to the 15-foot high vaulted upper floor that's revealed after climbing a steel floating staircase just off the dining room. 

As tourgoers peek into the featured home, they'll see where the designers focused on clean lines and natural materials to create that modern look. Materials like concrete tiles, chrome and glass contrast with more classic details, like shaker and beadboard cabinets and white subway tiles. There's a reclaimed post and beam that subtly divides the kitchen and living room and provides warmth while emphasizing that farmhouse feel.

With large windows and skylights, light floods throughout the home. Virtual viewers will even catch a glimpse of the North Shore mountains, framed by a large picture window in the master bedroom.

Modern FarmhouseThe outside of the L-shaped West Vancouver home mimics a classic farmhouse massing. 

Ticketholders can tune in live or revisit favourite projects after the show. Each of the home's architects and designers will also be there to chat and answer design questions. Looks like we'll be getting some serious design inspiration this weekend from some of the coolest homes in the West. 

Watch live on Saturday, December 12, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Purchase tickets here, or learn more about the Best of the West Virtual Home Tours at mads.media.