Located between a single-family neighbourhood developed in the sixties and a rapid-transit station site, this multi-residential project demanded a new form of transit-oriented density that is sensitive to these two contrasting urban conditions.
Architect: Arno Matis Architecture
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Project size: 98,000 ft2
Photography: Michael Elkan
From the architect: A full city-block site, Aperture responds to this “single-family-transitioning-to-urban” context by stepping-down in scale from a 6-storey midrise block on the arterial, down to two-storey villas, sensitive to the single-family neighborhood to the north.
The building blocks are bisected with water gardens and bamboo courtyards that animate volumes with reflective light. The shallow massing results in bright, light-filled residences. Unit mix is much like its diverse neighbourhood, varying from one bedroom apartments to standalone three-storey villas with direct parking access.
Stratigraphic architectural themes echo the area’s mid-century modern architectural vocabulary. Cantilever decks and strong horizontal lines and create a sense of lightness and lower the massing profile.
MATERIALS - The wood-panel feature was developed specifically for this project and is the first of its kind. A wood veneer encapsulated between two glass layers, the system allows the wood to be preserved in its natural form without staining or colour treatment; the richness of the natural wood grain is enhanced through refracted light. The flitch material was chosen deliberately to give warmth and a natural, sensual quality.
Encapsulated UV glass protects wood from weather exposure, eliminating the need for wood maintenance and staining. The insulated panel also reduces solar gain and increases the thermal resistance of the façade.
PASSIVE SHADING - Façade openings are programmed to provide passive shading, and act like an Aperture: opening and closing in response to the unique solar exposure of each façade. Apertures are deeper on the south elevation to provide increased sun shading, and more shallow and open to the North, to allow for additional light.
COMMUNITY - Aperture provides generous shared open spaces for social interaction, within a traditionally introverted, single-family neighbourhood. The building’s ‘campus-like’ massing creates interstitial social spaces: landscaped courtyards, mid-block water fountain and seating, and a fully-communal rooftop terrace that includes urban agriculture, a children’s play place and BBQ areas where all can share striking rooftop views.
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