Sean Hodgins, the head of Century Group, is undertaking a public process on the future of the “Southlands” in Tsawwassen (the old Spetifore lands) – including a recent charrette with Andres Duany, the New Urbanist architect who also conducted a similar exercise for the East Fraser Lands last year.
So one of the first things Duany does, when assessing a project, is tour the area in which its set. Hodgins was along for the drive, and sends in this revealing anecdote:
We had long discussions and drives around South Delta and in fact around much of Greater Vancouver trying to identify a proper architectural style (my instructions were ‘anything but Arts and Crafts’ which seems a bit too catch-all).
When Duany was first here in January as part of this discovery process we were driving around Boundary Bay and he said, ‘That’s a Swedish house. Look at its simplicity. And the climate is the same. There’s your architectural style right there’.
In fact he had nailed it better than I thought at the time. There is an even stronger Scandanavian (Norwegian) influence in Point Roberts and the whole Scanadavian style really has solid roots here.Anyway, I found out just two weeks ago from a long-time resident in Boundary Bay that in fact the house that he liked so much and that he had identified as Swedish was actually a kit home that someone had shipped from Sweden many years ago.