Thursday 23 March 2023

Detailed Design and Careful Craftsmanship.

The wood battens and concealed door reflect a walk through the forest with joyful surprises at the Whistler Chalet.

Our Contractor, Kayden Bousfield sent this sweet video that demonstrates the satisfaction of a job well done:

Saturday 13 August 2022

Land Assembly Fatigue: Reward and Risk


Assembling land parcels to create development sites is full of complexity and drama as individual owners try to figure out how to get the best price and terms for their property. 

A Seller will ask themselves: 

"Can I or should I work together with my neighbour?   What if I want more (or need less) than them?" 

Every family dynamic is different and when real life crashes in, motivations and timing can quickly change.  Land assembly usually gets Sellers a great turn of profit, but there will always be risk.

At the start, the tide is high - information and 'Letters of Intent' are openly discussed - especially if everyone can agree to the same price per square foot of land and the same timeframe to completion. 

As the discussion progresses though, someone may feel they can get more money by choosing to retreat and become a 'hold out'. This can sometimes de-rail the entire opportunity as the tide drops leaving everyone stranded on the shore or more often, the person who held out being left behind.

To avoid land assembly fatigue, Kenny Rodgers put it best: 

"Know when to hold em, 

 know when to fold em,

 know when to walk away,  

 know when to run..."

The key is to know the numbers and remember - the developer Buyer is not the Seller's adversary and the pro-forma has to show a sound profit to make the project come together.

Monday 4 July 2022

Capturing the Spirit of Place

Eldon Beck’s Whistler Vision AKA ‘The Village Stroll’ 

Journalist, Feet Banks writes: "The original plans for the Whistler Village were laid out in a standard North American grid design...", however, in 1978, American Landscape Architect, Eldon Beck was invited to walk the land. He took in the views and returned a plan that captured “the spirit of place.”

“Always the question is: Is it possible to take a beautiful natural site and rearrange it with a lot of structures but still keep the sense that it’s the place that it should be?” (Eldon Beck, Pique Newsmagazine in 2005)

According to Banks, "Beck presented a plan that emphasized the natural sightlines and path of sunlight across the space. His vision was to create a “Village in the Forest” built to showcase the surrounding mountains, nature and sense of discovery. 

There are no right angles in Beck’s original design. Whistler Village is meant to encourage meandering, exploration and surprise. 

Some liken the design to a twisting, flowing stream with various eddies and pools you can escape into for a moment or an hour...”

Beck was intent on nestling the taller and more substantial buildings into the base of the mountain and stepping the size down, the further away you got. His aim was to limit the shadows cast on the village.

Maintaining sunlight, views and a profoundly natural (wholly pedestrian) setting were the driving forces that created Whistler’s ‘Village Stroll’. For me, this is one of Urban Design’s most successful expressions of ‘Spirit of Place’.

With thanks to Mr Feet Banks whose original blog can be found at:

Tuesday 21 June 2022

Two Hats = Win Win

"I am a bit leary on what you do..." said one of my old friends who recently became a new client.

Reimagining the Vancouver Special on a tight budget 

(I get it)... Wearing two hats can be confusing for Clients. 

Marketing guru Nikita Morell ( says, keep your message simple: "We help X do Y by Z"

White Rock Land Assembly now a Seniors High Rise

So here goes:

Buyer: I help you find and negotiate the right land using an Architect's analysis. 

Getting the Most out of a Transit Oriented Development

Seller: I help you sell your land parcel for the best price using a Developer's mindset. 

2 Acre lower mainland Land Assembly

Everyone: Continuing on with the development permit design while the land deal closes, means your project moves forward as soon as possible = win win.

Andrew Scott Architecture and Planning: 
Architect + Realtor gets it moving A.S.A.P..

Saturday 11 June 2022

Latest Project using SketchUp Export to TwinMotion Software

The pandemic gave me a little extra time to learn TwinMotion software. Very user friendly and a joy to actually produce a somewhat realistic video. Digital natives under 40 will find TwinMotion straightforward, I am sure.

It could be applied to visualize buildings on this incredible new agricultural land site in Powell River (86 acres for $1,280,000) that our team are marketing at present too:

Friday 3 June 2022

This Weekend at Wedgewoods Whistler

 I am looking forward to meeting you this weekend at Wedgewoods Whistler! 9005 Skiers Rest Lane at 1.30pm - 3.30 pm Saturday and Sunday, here is the map of the three opportunities:

Monday 23 May 2022

Rendered Sketch vs Reality

United Building Systems asked us to come up with a colour scheme for their property in WedgeWoods. Some old school (OG) coloured pencil rendering helped us show the feel we were after.

Now the project is ready for sale with a single open house on the weekend June 4 and 5 at 1.30pm-3.30pm. Hope to see you all there!

Thursday 7 October 2021

From Drawing to Reality

I had cause today to reflect on the year 2001 when we were deeply engaged on the wonderful Killarney Castle.

The files revealed the joy of making: of a drawing becoming a reality. Looking back, it seemed appropriate that such an historic Building should have its new generation of details drawn by hand.

Apart from the furniture and light, every element in this picture was renewed. It was hand drawn and specified, the flooring, skirting, cornice, the oversized door, right down to the handle on the sliding door. 

Of course, these days we use the computer to convey the same message, but the joy of making something that is fit for use and in context still remains.

Tuesday 16 February 2021

Super Whistler Greenfield Site!

Wedgewoods, Whistler sub-division Lot 43. Think forward of the cosy fireplace with the river view. This will be a joy to build with Ed Lim of United Building Systems

Thursday 17 December 2020

Sydney Harbour Pavilion - Competition

We were pleased to have the opportunity to enter an architectural competition in Sydney in 2020. 

Our entry for the harbourside competition brought together the elemental golden ratio with the local aboriginal historic love for abalone. 

The pavilion is a gathering place where 'We See, We Smile, We Social' - branded Anuna which can be translated,  'We'. 

The abalone shell is a natural occurrence of the Golden Ratio. 

The crisp shell form resolves into a 'Rotunda' at the centre of the geometry. The Rotunda represents a 'picnic in the park' platform for public performance.

During events, roof mounted cannons of light become event searchlights on the western clouds and during the day the oval skylights form brightly lit booths for family play.

Anuna is a waterside place of reflection that can be charged with life, energy and activity for all ages.

The official requirements were for three A3 size landscape panels. We decided to make a newspaper like announcement, with headlines and backstory (click on image to see larger version):

Wednesday 9 September 2020

Let Us Create Your Castle

Killarney Castle

Rebuilding Killarney Castle in the early 2000's was a wonderful project. A highly motivated and skilled team came together to produce a timeless yet creative response.

Whether in Vancouver's Shaughnessy, or Sydney's North Shore, it will be a pleasure to create for you something truly special, as we transform your building lot into a romantic Castle. 

The photo below shows a screenshot from our previous website.

Contact us:
Andrew Scott Architecture and Planning 
+1 604 655 8122


Thursday 24 January 2019

Urban Development Institute (UDI) Assisting BC Builders of Tomorrow

UDI Presentation: Building Code Changes for 2019

'Climbable' guards now permitted when fall hazard is under 4.2m - example shown: X-TEND mesh by Ronstan

Around 700 changes were made to the latest BC Building Code, and amazingly, this Wednesday morning a team from UDI were able to distill issues to a breakfast meeting presentation.

Don Pedde, Barry Thorson, Phil White and Chris Radziminski gave an overview for Part 9 and Part 3 Buildings along with City of Vancouver plumbing updates.

Part 3 Updates (Complex Buildings)

  • Mixed use buildings to six storeys can now be built in entirely combustible material (rather than requiring concrete for commercial at ground level) with 2 hour fire separation (only) between commercial/residential uses (3.2.2 Article)
  • Six storey building maximum size increases
  • Interconnection between Floors: Levels 1 and 2 or P1 and 1 – relaxation of requirements
  • Exiting – Discharge doors from two required exits may need to be further apart and closer to the street so that a single parked truck won't be able inadvertantly block both exits
  • Exiting - Cross over (to another exit) floors are now required in 4 to 6 Storey Buildings and underground parking of more than 3 levels
  • Guards – climbable guards are now permitted as long as the fall hazard is under 4.2M
  • Guards and stair handrails can now be the same height at 1070mm (3’6”)
  • Elevators for Limited Use can be smaller as the need to accommodate a stretcher has been removed and a ‘Garaventa’ type stair lift is now permitted to provide CSA-B355 access

Part 9 and 'All Code' Updates

  • Stairs – Private dwelling stairs tread width (defined as run) has grown 45mm to 255mm minimum 
  • Guards – climbable guards now permitted as long as the fall hazard is under 4.2M (expect to see a lot of horizontal residential railings soon) 
  • No longer possible to use a newel post as a transition on the inside corner of a landing with winder treads - handrail must be continuous 
  • Accessibility (for disability) – check out the soon to be available ‘BC Building Access Handbook'
    Current handbook - new handbook coming soon

  • Energy efficiency standards – increased with new metrics and tables – see 
  • Sound transmission – ‘Apparent Sound Transmission Class’ (ASTC) replaces STC to now include the sum of direct and flanking assembly transmission

Blue line shows flanking sound path

  • Seismic design – lateral bracing requirements slightly down in Vancouver and Kelowna, but up in Victoria

Water Use (City of Vancouver - COV)

  • Enhanced Public Safety focusing on water quality and piping as it relates rainwater harvesting systems, decorative fountains, cooling towers, municipal water supply - building water treatment and geoexchange systems 
  • The City will require quarterly reporting on water quality testing for new and existing systems to meet temperature of less than 20 deg. C; turbidity of less than 10 NTU and E.coli of less than 100CFU / 100 ml 
  • Harvested water must supply toilets, urinals and trap primers with optional use for irrigation and make up for cooling towers 
  • Use purple piping 
  • Rainwater - above grade and no vehicular traffic and/ or use clear water waste. (Clearwater is solid-free wastewater which includes water produced while waiting for hot water from the faucet to heat up, refrigerator compressor drip, and more) 

Cooling Towers (COV)

Legionnaires disease concerns leading to requirement for operating permit and testing of cooling towers

Decorative fountains (COV)

Operating permit will be required from July 1, 2020

Friday 4 January 2019

Torrens Title and Strata Title - aussie inventions, one hundred years apart

1911 Sydney Land Sub-Division Sales Poster

Torrens Title

In 1858, Sir Robert Torrens, the South Australian Premier, started using a new simple system of title by registration: The Torrens Title System. The idea was in part based on the registration of merchant ships and did away with the need for proving a 'chain of title' (tracing title through a series of documents). 

"The State guarantees title and is generally supported by a compensation scheme for those who lose their title due to private fraud or error in the State's operation."

Strata Title

Just over one hundred years later in 1962, Strata Title was born in Sydney, NSW. The object of this new ownership tenure was a 25 storey residential high-rise on a waterfront peninsular opposite Sydney Harbour Bridge. After much legal debate, led by the skyscraper developer and founder of the Lend Lease Corporation, Dick Dusseldorp (AO), strata ownership became possible.

"Strata Title is a form of property ownership, devised predominately for multi-level apartment buildings. The 'strata' part of the term refers to apartments being on different levels, or 'strata'."

Previously, the only adequate method of dividing ownership in a high-rise building in the world, generally, was company title, which made it difficult for potential buyers to provide security for bank financing.
Late Fifties Modernist Design

The building at the centre of the game-change was itself, a significant and highly controversial work by modernist Architect, Harry Seidler. Harry’s dear wife, Penelope showed her abiding support thirty years later, creating a sweet tapestry of the hotly debated building. The Architect always saw it as a reflection of the art movement of the time, akin to a Mondrian painting.

Detail of Tapestry

Canada is one of the many countries that have now adopted Strata Title ownership. It is fascinating to be reminded just how alike Australians and Canadians can be. You could say it is part of being in the Commonwealth of Nations, but it is interesting to note that neither of these systems of ownership title have been adopted by Great Britain. 

Blues Point today from Barangaroo

Monday 31 December 2018

Seven Considerations of Church Design

Upper Level Plan of Sunday School and Babe-in-arms Room

Christians agree that a church building is not God's 'temple on earth' as in the times before Christ. It is understood that God is worshiped whenever and wherever the human heart turns to Him. 

However, a church building is a uniquely important space where life memories are made. A church building is a venue where...

1. The Bible is read and explained and applied. 

2. A large extended 'family' celebrate God's demonstrated love through Jesus. 

3. An outsider is welcomed, celebrated and invited to belong. 

4. The love between a man and a woman is deeply honoured with ceremony and encouragement. 

5. A new life is protected and delighted in. 

6. Life plans are discovered and commitments made. 

7. Closure (after a life is completed) begins.

At its best, a new church building is more than a 'tool for mission' like an auditorium or converted gymnasium, though it is likely to include those 'gathering' functions. 

A Church building can a place of life's most significant moments. Those life moments are often photographed and always remembered. Think of the procession of a bride and her father.

Adaptive Re-Use of Church Hall (beyond) as Childcare Centre with Gathering Space over.

Personal history can be made in the sports arena, at the university graduation hall, even at a bus stop, but it is uniformly made at church. This insists that a church building be a work of Architecture expressing positive values, hope and strong faith. 

By being an excellent building it can help create a culture of excellence in its community. Design can be seen as an act of love: "somebody cared enough to draw that..."

By being an excellent building it can help create a culture of excellence in its community. Design can be seen as an act of love: "somebody cared enough to draw that...". 

A work of Architecture reflects its place in time, so a new church building will use the materials, methods and technology available at the time of construction, giving it a contemporary temperament.

"As both an informal meeting place with many functions & a venue of contemplation, formality and excellence, the tone to aim for might be described as 'quiet contemporary elegance".

Thursday 27 December 2018

"There's Gold in Them Thar Hills..."

"There's Gold in Them Thar Hills..."Mark Twain may have borrowed this saying from the Georgia assayer, Matthew Stephenson back in the 1840s. In any event it has become a catch cry for any great commercial opportunity. In this case it actually is a gold mine. 

My team are searching for the right large mining company to scale up mining and placer operations in Northern BC offering 1100 Hectares Hard Rock Mineral Claim and 131 hectares Placer Claim. The site is in the middle of an established high yield gold mining district. It has had a full generation of small scale operations and it is the first time it has been available for purchase. Geological Reports show an excellent opportunity for Lithium and Gold. There are also reports of Silver and Copper. Contact me for a Non-Disclosure Agreement.