Still Life House
untitled design agency
The Still Life House is a 2400 square-foot private residence situated in the beachside neighbourhood, Kits Point in Vancouver, Canada. Homeowners David and Linda Bergman moved from Sweden to Canada, and enlisted untitled design agency to renovate their Vancouver home. The design process itself became an organic design dialogue between the homeowners and Daniel Ching, principal of untitled design agency. A character home reimagined — was the design intent of this renovation project. As the house had traditional architectural forms, this modern renovation was reinterpreted to suit a character home. In fact, during the early stages of the project, the homeowners were after an unapologetically modern interior, which proved to be challenging. The dialogue between the intrinsic architecture of the home and a true-to-form modern interior felt disjointed. As the interiors were developed, a softer interior language came to light. While a strong language of clean lines was maintained, the material palette was steeped in old world traditions, which became a key design element. The color and material palette were a practice of restraint; unifying materials were carried through the house. Traditional materials such as the limestone counters and fireplace hearth, the fir wood floors, and oak cabinetry all stayed true to form. Materials were unadorned and allowed to patina over time. To balance the bones of a character home, and the minimalism of modern design, it was a contemplated effort to forego typical modern-engineered finishes — as well as fixtures. Functional elements such as kitchen appliances and storage recede and are concealed behind oak cabinetry. With an absence of adornment, materiality and proportion were key design elements of this project. Every visible angle was studied. As such, a great amount of time and energy was put into developing harmonious details, which can be appreciated throughout each room. The Still Life house articulates minimalism to enhance the detail of elements retained. In keeping with a time-honoured material palette, several pieces of vintage furniture are found throughout the house. Collectible pieces include items by George Nakashima, Hans Wegner, Charlotte Perriand, Poul Kjaerholm, and Norman Cherner, to name a few. Bespoke furniture was designed specifically for this project’s environment, which is an important element for interiors by untitled design agency. The dining table, bookshelves, writing desks, beds, and night tables were developed specifically for this project. This project-specific furniture design philosophy was adopted from design masters whose pieces are found throughout the house. More relevant in today’s world than ever, interior environments should be your own sanctuary — an environment with a stillness free of noise. Illustrated through The Still Life House, interiors with a meditated balance of material and form can describe a sense of calm.