Western Living Magazine
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Burgers Architecture takes home the top prize for its boldly modern waterfront design.
We’ve been tracking the stats daily over here at Western Living headquarters, and it was a real tug-of-war as to who would take the final crown—so many fans of our top 5 finalists! But in the last few days, our winner clearly pulled into the lead. And that winner is…
Congrats to architect Cedric and Marieke Burgers and their team for taking home our 2023 WL Home of the Year, presented by Pacific Art Stone. The boldly modern home is “an absolute victory of form and function,” as Stacey McLachlan noted in the original piece, with a palette inspired by “the beach, the ocean, and the way the light reflects off the water on a sunny day.”
Read all about the home below – and once again, a huge congrats to Burgers Architecture for capturing our 2023 WL Home of the Year!
by Stacey McLachlan/Photos by Martin Tessler
Let the record show that architect Cedric Burgers doesn’t shy away from a challenge. This West Vancouver project featured a risky waterfront site and a tight footprint, but the Vancouver-based architect (a former WL Architect of the Year) was more than game to bring his modernist approach and creative problem-solving to the task.
“The homeowners were downsizing but wanted all the amenities of their former house,” explains Burgers. “A guest suite, second bedroom, and gracious, open plan main floor without compromising on entertaining or hosting their children and grandchildren.”
And while the resulting 3,500-square-foot oceanfront home looks like an absolute victory of form and function, the true triumphs lie beneath the beautiful surface. Burgers created a double-walled concrete structure atop a massive concrete slab, intended to weigh the house down should water levels ever rise. This clever feat of architectural engineering allowed for a full basement (wrapped in a heavy rubber membrane as an additional layer of safety during a flood).
The home’s position on a busy public walkway offered another hurdle for the architectural team. To create the opportunity for both views and privacy, they installed louvered fins made of anodized aluminum: placed at just the right angle, views out are maximized and views in are minimized. (Hedges also help block the sight of the public path and nearby railway line.) Zinc siding (in a satiny, muted-black finish) matches the aesthetics of those screens, designed to resemble the gills of a shark and contrast against the white concrete walls.
The interiors, of course, are equally thoughtful, the work of Burgers Architecture’s senior interior designer Marieke Burgers. A long, cantilevered staircase is topped by a large skylight that lets natural light pour in. A glass guardrail spans from the landing to the main floor, and clocks in at over 22 feet long and 200 lbs—it’s a specialty piece that had to be manufactured and shipped from Eastern Canada. “We were sweating bullets the entire time until it was clicked into place,” says Burgers.
Indiana limestone floors play against white millwork cabinetry and a warm, bleached hemlock ceiling. (That same buttery stone flooring carries out to the patio, connecting the interior and exterior seamlessly when the stacking glass-panel doors are pulled to the sides).
It’s a palette inspired by the locale: Burgers was inspired by the beach, the ocean, and the way the light reflects off the water on a sunny day. Despite all the challenges of this particular home, the result is one of pure luxury and bliss: the sort of place where you can’t have a care in the world. “It’s an oasis of serenity,” says Burgers. “It creates the feeling of being at anchor on a luxury yacht in a secluded sunny anchorage.”
General Contractor, CB Developments
Interior Designer, Marieke Burgers
Landscape Design, Ron Rule
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