The "Shaw House" lies on a narrow plot facing directly onto English Bay in Vancouver. From a slightly raised position one has a breathtaking view out over the bay and of the skyline of the Canadian metropolis.
The living rooms, study and music room are arranged one above the other in terraced form owing to the narrow slope. The pool is over the entrance, and thanks to the glass bottom to it sheds additional daylight into the living quarters. In other words, water plays a strong part as an element of the design by Patkau Architects – one feels truly surrounded by water.
The design task consisted in creating as open and spacious rooms as possible, whereby it had to take account of the challenges posed by the topography, the greater earthquake risk and frequent rain. For this reason, the core of the building consists of a massive reinforced concrete structure. A custom-made white cement mix ensures that the façade's white gleam is durable. On the inside, the concrete shell is insulated and clad with plasterboard. Subdued colors and materials (white walls, bright concrete floors, bright wooden paneling) instill the building with a pleasant and friendly living residential atmosphere.