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Harmonious Design

There is no greater challenge to an architect than a magnificent natural site. How can new buildings nestle within rocks, forest and shore in a manner that complements nature, not diminishes it? How can new communities evolve a sense of home for their residents? How can we shape buildings that meet contemporary needs but are graced with a sense of timelessness? These are the challenges that faced architect Paul Merrick as they composed their ideas for Horseshoe Bay.

Renderings Renderings Renderings
Filberg house designed
by Arthur Erickson, 1958

Westcoast Architecture

To enhance the marina and public paths defining one edge of Horseshoe Bay’s harbour, and then make new places to live above them is one of the greatest challenges of Paul Merrick’s architectural career. He drew on a lifetime of experience to understand and solve the opportunities at this, one of the most magnificent building sites on Canada’s Pacific coast.

Horseshoe-Bay-(Square)_0002s_0000_Layer-39 Horseshoe-Bay-(Square)_0002s_0004_Layer-51

Paul Merrick’s early architectural mentors:
Arthur Erickson 1924 – 2009, left
Ron Thom 1923 – 1986, right

Merrick Architecture

Merrick Architecture now includes partners Gregory Borowski, Mitch Sakumoto, Graham Fligg and Shaun McIntyre plus thirty-five employees in offices in Victoria and Vancouver. The range of work produced by this acclaimed practice is evident in the three works illustrated here: the dramatic stack of cliff-dwelling rooms in West Vancouver’s Sentla Residence; the airy reading room and Gothic details (in homage to Ron Thom’s Massey College) of the UBC Alumni Reading Room near Vancouver General Hospital; a penthouse interior at the top of the Shoal Point high rise towers that guard the entrance to Victoria harbour.


More About Paul Merrick


Paul Merrick

 

Sentla residence, west Vancouver, BC 1994
Olympic Village, BC 2009
Jericho Tennis Club, BC 1999

Lighting Design

The public spaces and resident’s amenity areas at Horseshoe Bay will be as pleasant by night as they are by day. Westbank is developing a custom series of sculptural lighting fixtures touched with whimsy and creativity, a ring of shining artworks that will define the waterfronthere. These early sketches from Paul Merrick’s office show a range of potential designs, all of them graced with the organic-meets-urban aesthetic at the heart of their re-conception of Horseshoe Bay.

Wall-Mounted Fixture Pendant Fixture Waterfront Light Standard

Smaller versions of the same design aesthetic inform these light fixtures that are to be set on the lower walls of the residential and commercial buildings, pairs of them flanking entrances and other points of interest.

Half-circle layered variation on freestanding light standard Regular rhythm of repeated fixtures along waterfront building elevation.

A contemporary update on lights strung above busy residential streets in Europe and Asia, these hanging pendants will be suspended from lines running from building to building, their drooping petals and LED fixtures adding a festive note.

2 layers of glass petals constructed as typical

These are tall and free-standing lighting towers that will illuminate the piers and boardwalks at water’s edge. With long curving ‘stems’ topped by a flower-like lights with coloured glass ‘petals,’ the low energy LED fixture will cast light down onto the stone and render walls, and create intriguing reflections on harbour waters.

Typical triple layer of petals 16' Height maximum Typical double layer of petals 8' Height minimum

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Paul Merrick

Paul Merrick was born and grew up in West Vancouver, remembering his Ambleside neighbourhood as a “real village,” and remarks on the multi-generational shops that are still there. His grandfather was an engineer on coastal ferries, his father an industrial arts teacher at West Vancouver High and his uncle ran the local gas station. Young Paul played in the surrounding forests, caddied at the Capilano Golf Club, and picked up the wood-working skills that still serve him today in his sailboat design and construction at his East Sooke workshop.

Paul Merrick faced a choice when applying to the University of British Columbia: “There’s not much room for imagination in engineering, so I choose architecture – it looked like more fun.” His natural abilities with freehand drawing served him well as a student, but his real education in design thinking came from one of the School of Architecture’s most charismatic professors. “Arthur Erickson had a Socratic teaching process,” Merrick says, “He showed these magnificent slides of his travels – he took us on mental journeys, talked about pace and place and light.” At the time, Erickson was designing the Filberg House in Comox – his first large house commission – and he shared the evolution of its design with Merrick and his classmates. After third year, he spent a summer working at Ron Thom’s office, working on the details of Massey College in Toronto. Upon graduation, Merrick faced a choice: “I had offers from two firms that were on very different wavelengths. You could say that Arthur Erickson’s office was FM, but Ron Thom’s was AM, and that is what I chose.”

Soon, Merrick was designing small wooden houses in the Westcoast idiom that was Thom’s hallmark. “It’s hard to know where one’s influences come from, but from an early age I had a strong empathy for an organic way of thinking,” he says of these designs. These tendencies are evident in the larger Sciences Complex and Library/ Bridge commissions he was given as part of Thom’s design of the Trent University campus in Ontario, which meet the technical needs of a contemporary university, but retain a sense of handmade tradition. Merrick says: “When Ron put his hand to something, a different kind of light emerged.” After a few years in Thom’s then-Toronto-based office, and some extended travels in Europe, Merrick returned to Vancouver.

Working with Thompson Berwick Pratt, Merrick was lead architect for the lobby extension and interior adaptive re-use that transformed the former Orpheum cinema in to Vancouver’s leading concert venue, winning Governor General’s Medal for Architecture for his design.
A felt pen elevation for UBC student house design project
A sketch for Paul Merrick Family Residence, Eagle Harbour

For Thompson Berwick Pratt he designed the powerful Brutalist forms of the downtown Vancouver CBC studios, then was project architect for the very different interior renovation and lobby addition for the oncethreatened Orpheum Theatre, which won a Governor General’s Medal for architecture. Merrick designed a sublime house in the forest for his family in West Vancouver in 1972, then a few years later formed his own practice. The range of buildings completed since is remarkable, ranging from the Gothic touches of the UBC Alumni Medical Library at 12th and Heather to the assertive wood structure of the Day Lodge at the Callaghan Valley installations for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Merrick says that one of his most important techniques he used as he built his own architectural practice – which has grown to forty employees in offices in Victoria and Vancouver – is to constantly ask “What is the site asking of us?” He regards the current commission for Westbank on the Sewell Marina site to be one of the great challenges of his career. “Horseshoe Bay has the curious condition of the view being north, the sun to the south,” he says. A breakthrough came with memories of the rural English architecture he had toured with is family in the 1970s, with “buildings one room thick” being the perfect strategy he had sought for this confined site having the additional site conditions of steep forest on one side and harbour on the other. “During design development all the notions were there, but they got pumped up a bit, more texture came in,” says the architect of his Horseshoe Bay design, concluding: “Listen to the land, and it will tell you what it wants to be.”

Interior Finishes & Specifications

Design

  • West Coast Modern luxury homes in the waterfront community of Horseshoe Bay
  • Horseshoe Bay West Vancouver steps right out from the hillside to the ocean front
  • Interior design inspired by natural west coast surroundings
  • Layouts allow for natural cross ventilation and expansive views of the waterfront, mountain, forest, or park
  • Homes are accessed through covered external walkways
  • Reinforced concrete construction

Sustainable Design

  • In building heating and cooling provided through an onsite geothermal ocean loop, allowing for a reduction in greenhouse gas emission of up to 70%
  • Underground Parking supplied with electric vehicle charging stations (available for purchase)
  • Onsite cistern to capture stormwater runoff and recycle it for irrigation, thereby reducing the use of fresh water
  • Local recycling of onsite rock material to protect and enhance to waterfront
  • Local material use that supports local artists and trades

Security

  • 24-hour concierge
  • Building-wide electronic Access Control system
  • 24-hour digital video recording surveillance of building entry points
  • Electronic access using a single encrypted security device
  • Video Entry System allows identification and screening of guests
  • Elevators include restricted floor access

Amenities

  • Amenity Boat House, that is truly one of the most breath-taking boathouses in history
  • Luxurious 24 foot Chris Craft boat, with dedicated Captain
  • Paddle Boards and Kayaks for residences to use
  • Private Lobby with soaring ceilings and architectural fireplace, and additional private lobbies for each building
  • State of the art gym

Interiors

  • Designed by Merrick Architecture in a West Coast Modern typology
  • Unique overheight extra wide solid oak suite entry door, modern interpretation of the Arts and Crafts style
  • Overheight ceilings
  • Wide-planked wood flooring in all living areas
  • Porcelain Limestone look tile throughout the bathrooms and up wet walls
  • Designer wool carpet in bedrooms
  • European kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities
  • 30" and 36" gas fireplace in majority of homes, covered in travertine stone
  • Finest quality roller-blinds with woven sun control fabric

Bathroom

  • European teak vanities
  • Polished quartz countertop for master ensuite and second bathroom
  • Porcelain Limestone look flooring in oversized tiles, and up wet walls
  • Grohe polished chrome fixtures including a rain shower head, with a 3-jet hand shower wall mounted
  • Duravit undermount sink basin
  • Duravit rectangular deep soaker tub
  • Floor heating in master bathroom

Kitchen

  • European matte lacquer cabinetry
  • Contemporary built-in under-cabinet lighting
  • Self-closing cabinet drawers
  • Polished granite slab countertop, glacier white corian, or an exquisite glass fused countertop
  • Contemporary satin brushed metal and glass backsplash
  • Grohe polished chrome fixtures
  • Stainless steel double kitchen sink with built in garburator
  • Ceiling treatments will incorporate wood panels and elements to recall the forested surroundings while adding warm and tactile
  • contrast to the clean lines of the kitchens

Appliances

  • Miele 30" or 48" Dual Fuel M Touch Range
  • Miele 48" Range includes Speed Oven (Combination Auxiliary Convection Oven and Microwave) and Warming Drawer
  • Miele Futura Classic Plus custom panelled Dishwasher with Cutlery Tray
  • Miele 30" or 48" stainless steel hoodfan
  • Miele Microwave (in Residences with 30” Ranges)
  • Miele 30" or 36" MasterCool Refrigerator with Bottom Freezer Drawer & Ice maker
  • Miele MasterCool Wine Fridge, Tall Unit with 3 temperature zones, or Under-counter Unit with 2 temperature zones.
  • Garburator
  • Miele 24" stackable washer/dryer

New Home Warranty

  • 2 Years Materials and Workmanship Protection
  • 5 Years Water Penetration Protection
  • 10 Years Structural Protection