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.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Creating Community Connection: One Home Becomes Sixteen

Love the smartphone. Hate the isolation it creates. There are now less friendly smiles on the bus and chance meetings are too easily hijacked by the latest tweet.

How do we give opportunity for friendly encounters and community connection?

First of all, have vision to transform a piece of land with one single home needing a lot of weekend lawn mowing, to a community of sixteen families. 

Secondly, make sure each new family home has ample space, privacy, security and independence. The interior layout should suit family life, and the home look out to a beautiful garden setting. 

For community connection, think of great places where people mingle naturally - that are sunny, relaxed and have an openness that feels safe, like Rome's Spanish Steps...

By Arnaud 25 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

In Maple Ridge, British Columbia, after the location's environmental setback was established to match the circumstances, a four-plex / townhouse site was created. To fit in with the neighborhood, the building form was to appear as three large homes, arranged to establish a wonderful family style community setting.

Now a rezoning application at the City, the meeting point designed in the middle of the three buildings is the 'Maple Steps', a place where landscape, sunlight and passive surveillance (for safety) can allow great conversations to begin.

The result is a site surrounded by nature with a beautiful outlook and the right number of families to create a vibrant community where genuine care and concern for each other can happen 'by accident'.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Land Assembly Valuation

Concept Plan

How do you value property on a land assembly deal?

You might go to the MLS, look at active and sold listings in the last few months, look at trends and list comparbles and come up with a number. 

Here is where Commercial Real Estate and Planning Architecture join forces.

The Value of Land is based on the masterplanner's vision and the final built product price on the day of acquisition. 
Massing Study
Vision for land is created by
  • Site Analysis 
  • Masterplanning 
  • Massing Studies 
  • By-Law Interpretation

The aim is to build agreement between Buyers, Sellers, the City and ultimately the local community to come up with the highest and best use of the land and find a solution where everyone wins.

When we do the right amount of the upfront work to create vision by Site Analysis / Masterplanning / Massing Studies and By-Law interpretation, the whole process can be much smoother and well-reasoned.

Apart from managing the complexity of price through 'residual land value' calculations, the terms of sale in a commercial deal often involves some inventive responses as we satisfy the Stakeholders needs. This is always fascinating because there are lots of interesting moving parts.

Our ultimate aim is three things:  Find a solution that excites the Developer, satisfies the Seller and creates Value.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

New Estate Home in a Whistler Forest

Introducing the Forrest Home. An entertainer's estate residence being built just 12 minutes from Whistler Village. It is part of an exclusive collection of large high quality homes in the Wedge Woods Properties Area.

Situated on 1.16 acres of land, the over 4,000 square foot home has around 600 square feet of elevated decks for enjoying the seclusion and beauty of the forest.

The planning of the home provides for a legal suite along with defined areas for family living, guests and perhaps even your driver.

It is on the market and will be a rare addition to the quality lifestyle  options provided for in Whistler. The for-rest home.

Contemporary architecture, priced at $3,600,000. 

Call to arrange to for a site visit on +1 604 655 6122. International enquiries are welcome. Site address: 9005 Skiers Rest Lane, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada.

Video New Whistler Ski Chalet

Friday, 17 February 2017

Why a Blog Instead of a Splash Page?

"But you only have a blog..."

...was commented recently. So I began pondering why...

I had a website for ten years that presented my favorite projects. What I realized though, is that it dated very fast. A third party designed it back then and the formula for changing it was a mystery. I found myself at arm's length to get it to reflect where things were at.

Now in a constantly changing and dynamic world of bringing together development projects, it seemed should evolve more into a conversation. So the blog was born and was pointed to it.

Projects are now are rich and varied, ranging from helping masterplan new communities for transit oriented development (TOD) to joyfully resolving the finest detail of copper construction. 

A static website wouldn't reflect issues in an up to date way but there is more. While a website puts makeup on my face to help me look my best, the values and reasons behind what we do are a work in progress, generally more interesting, useful and hopefully less self focussed.

The motive is this: I am hoping you will chose Andrew Scott Architecture and Planning (ASAP) for your next building project, including guidance in choosing the right land. That is why the Real Estate license make sense. Having the local Architect's Certificate of Practice means I can begin the design conversation too.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Art, Architecture and Business School

Above my workspace an old life drawing sits beside the AIBC Certificate of Practice
In an Architect designed building, there is an opportunity for loose artistic expression and exploration of form in the context of the views, values and light available to a project. 

This is refined through the inventive, yet disciplined 3D world of master building.

Of course, to build something, there is a piece of land that usually must be purchased. Buying real estate is a commercial exchange that is hotly negotiated, bringing into play huge financial courage and grit.

Here the artistic DNA that started the journey requires the tempering fires of commercial life and times:
  • Does the value of the land support the cost of the building?
  • Will my client now be successful in his marketplace?
  • Will the next sale price cover the cost of land + building + needed profit?
  • Will it sell fast enough?

So, it is good to remember:

1. Every project needs to begin with a vision or unified artistic expression, that informs design decisions further down the track. That is the part Architects love. 

2. Our client has often been in a heady commercial battlefield of land purchase, sometimes well before he has knocked on the Architect's door. 

The journey of land purchase and sale is thrilling, and so is the winding road of realizing the dream you can one day walk into.  

Monday, 25 July 2016

A New York State of Mind

New York is on the move again. 

The World Trade Center site is becoming a triumph of resilience and faith.

The rest of the city appears to be in a building boom.

As always, the ideas are strong, the people toughened, 
the history real.







Now, back to basics. How can the old skyscrapers be so tall and narrow? 

Because NY is built on the strongest of geological bedrock.

A life needs bedrock too, something that can hold you up. When you find the bedrock of truth - you build there. 
That is just smart. 

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock." Matthew 7, 24-5

New York is an idea. It is the 'Big Time', the 'Wit and Wisdom and Commerce of the City' where we behold the joy of people who love the game.

Dining Table by Studio Job at MAD, the Museum of Art and Design

The Entrerprise Space Shuttle



Here life and humanity is celebrated. We are encouraged to prototype the grand idea with commitment and conviction.

In New York we are inspired to do our best work yet.