Five of West Vancouver’s most stunning homes will open their elegant doors to the public this weekend. In partnership with British Pacific Properties, the West Vancouver Art Museum is hosting its annual West Coast Modern Home Tour, followed by a fundraiser and silent auction at the Eagle Harbour Yacht Club to support the museum’s future programs and exhibitions.
“At the very heart of what we’re doing is trying to highlight the architectural movement of West Coast modernism that has been prevalent in West Van for more than 50 years,” museum assistant curator Hilary Letwin says of choosing properties to feature.
“We select a spectrum of homes ranging from those left untouched, to those that are renovated, to contemporary homes—all embracing modern architectural detail,” she adds, noting that the three categories ensure a variety of architecture is highlighted, especially for those interested in different eras.
WVAM has been curating the Modern Home Tour since 2006, and Letwin has seen some changes—mostly in the rising trend of in-house landscaping at architectural firms. Incorporating foliage into minimalist design is the movement du jour. “The tour has definitely become more verdant,” she says.
First stop this year is the Hoffar Residence. Built by Fred Hollingsworth in 1971, this home represents the “untouched” leg of the tour (a small kitchen update about a decade ago notwithstanding). The tour then snakes through three renovated properties, finishing with the contemporary Howard Residence, started by Architecture Building Culture in 2017 and completed this year. At two of the houses, a representative from the architecture firm will be in attendance.
Participants can join the bus hired by the museum or choose the self-drive ticket option. They can explore the whole house—the garage, in most cases, is out of bounds—and each home has one washroom designated for public use. While volunteers are present to answer basic questions, owners will be in attendance to respond to more specific queries about what it’s like to live in such notable properties.
Luckily, there is no shortage of homeowners ready to open their doors to the public, Letwin says. “We never seem to run out of beautiful houses up here.”
The 14th annual West Coast Modern Home Tour begins at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 13. Advance tickets are available online or at West Vancouver Municipal Hall starting at 10:30 a.m. on the day of the event.
Explore more stories on architecture in our Design section.