Arthur Erickson’s 1972 Helmut and Hildegard Eppich house in West Vancouver rendered a West Coast post and beam aesthetic in concrete and is one of his most significant residential designs that is recognized worldwide.
It is set obliquely on a sloping site and terraces down four levels, ending with a beautiful pond surrounded by well-established greenery at the lowest level. Forward-thinking clients recently bought the property with the intention of preserving this architectural masterpiece and its surrounding landscape that is so integral to the work of Erickson.
The naturalistic qualities and substantial solidity of the concrete post and beam framework and bush-hammered concrete walls remain as the prominent expression inside and out. Concrete and unfinished fir ceilings and walls are now seen against a more technical layering of new materials. New finely wrought stainless detailing is set as a counterpoint to the robust detail of the existing structure.
The result is a respectful newness that is sympathetic but not deferential, adding a type of “recessive precision” throughout that enlightens the original structure and its informal spaces and clearly delineates old from new.