Downs House II, West Vancouver, Canada

Downs House II West Vancouver, Architect’s home British Columbia, Canadian residence, BC real estate photos

Downs House II in West Vancouver

24 May 2023

Architect: Barry Downs

Location: West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Downs House II West Vancouver Canada

Photos by the white space co.

Downs House II, Canada

West Coast Modern Searches for Buyer to Save Home of Architect Behind Iconic Vancouver Landmarks From Demolition

Downs House II West Vancouver Canada

Built by celebrated Vancouver architect Barry Downs as his personal home and testing ground for his designs, the Downs House II is at extreme risk of redevelopment; Iconic Vancouver landmarks designed by Downs include Canada Place, Library Square and Yaletown

Downs House II West Vancouver Canada

West Coast Modern is issuing an urgent plea for an architecture-loving buyer to come forward and save the at-risk Downs House II from likely destruction.

Downs House II West Vancouver

The 1,464-square-foot home, built by influential Vancouver architect Barry Downs, sits on a half-acre waterfront lot in West Vancouver and is not protected, making it a prime target for redevelopment unless a buyer who appreciates its architectural and heritage value can be found.

Downs House II West Vancouver

“The survival rate of homes like these is very bleak,” says Trent Rodney, Co-Founder at West Coast Modern. “Unless we are able to find a buyer who appreciates the architectural significance of this home more than the redevelopment value of the land, it is doomed to join the long list of west coast modern homes that have been lost to history.”

Downs House II Canada

Located at 6664 Marine Drive in West Vancouver on its own private road, the 1979-built Downs House II was designed by Downs to be in harmony with its natural surroundings. The home’s multiple levels cascade down the rock cliff it is perched upon offering splendid views of Garrow Bay and the Strait of Georgia beyond.

Downs House II Canada

Select walls and windows are rounded at the top to mimic the soft edges of the surrounding bluff while cedar shingles evoke the bark of nearby trees. The home was intentionally positioned by Downs to preserve all of the existing trees and use the hill and vegetation to protect it against storms and the sun.

Downs House II Canada

Downs’ work often balanced the austere modernism of his day with an earthy sensibility that reflected the environment of the west coast – with Downs House II being a perfect example of this. As the name implies, this is the second home that Barry Downs designed for himself and his family – with the first being Downs House I built in 1959 in the Dunbar neighbourhood of Vancouver.

Downs distinguished himself among his contemporaries for the wide range of projects that he worked on – everything from single-family homes (including collaborations with other modernist heavyweights like Fred Hollingsworth) to civic buildings and whole neighbourhoods that have come to define Vancouver such as Canada Place, Yaletown and the main branch of the Vancouver Public Library. His substantial contributions to Vancouver’s architectural fabric and the west coast modernism movement were recognized in 2015 when he was awarded the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian honour.

Downs House II Canada

According to West Coast Modern, an average of 2 west coast modern homes a year are torn down. They estimate that, of the around 1,100 homes originally built during the west coast modern movement, only around 256 remain today.

Downs House II Canada

“This is Vancouver’s time to reverse the trend that sees iconic waterfront homes demolished – like Arthur Erickson’s Graham House and Arthur Mudry’s Beaton House – and continue Downs’ vision for Vancouver to join other global cities in saving and celebrating their architectural landmarks,” continues Rodney. “In Los Angeles, Saks Fifth Avenue executives stepped up to save Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House from demolition and, in Palm Springs, a fund manager came forward and saved John Lautner’s Kaufman House from a similar fate. These cities have developed a community of architecture enthusiasts who are willing to stand up, become custodians of these significant homes and protect them from the wrecking ball. With the Downs House II being put up for sale for the first time, it is now up to Vancouver to decide what the future of this landmark home will be.”

About West Coast Modern

West Coast Modern is Vancouver’s only real estate service specializing in selling design-led architectural homes. From mid-century classics to contemporary new builds, West Coast Modern has consistently created one-of-a-kind storytelling experiences for each work of architecture they represent. Their unique following of design-literate clientele look to them for inspiration to craft their life the West Coast Modern way.

West Coast Modern is gaining unprecedented access to buyers from around the globe who understand the value of well-designed spaces. Their proven marketing platform regularly earns coverage from top publications like Architectural Digest, Dwell, Monocle, Elle Decor, THE PLAN, designboom, Western Living, STOREYS, Montecristo, NUVO, the Globe and Mail, the North Shore News, and the Vancouver Sun.

Downs House II West Vancouver

With this proprietary program, they have successfully secured new custodians for a majority of Metro Vancouver’s most significant modern houses, such as the famed Arthur Erickson Starship House, which sold for the highest price per square foot for a historic home, and the newly completed Eaves House by McLeod Bovell, which sold for $12.1 million.

Downs House II West Vancouver

Architect: Barry Downs –

Downs House II West Vancouver

Photography: the white space co.

Downs House II, West Vancouver, Canada images / information received 310324

Location: West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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