B.C. Binning House, 1941
West Vancouver, BC
Designed by B.C. Binning with consulting architects C.E. Ned Pratt and R.A.D. Berwick
B.C. Binning was a renowned B.C. artist and champion for regional architecture and design. Designed by B.C. Binning and completed in 1941, the Binning House is revered in artistic, architectural, and heritage circles, standing as a testament to Binning’s artistic influence, and to his pivotal role in the emergence of a regional architectural expression of modernism on the west coast (West Coast Modernism). Beyond being a cultural hub in the artistic and architectural communities, the Binning House stands as Canada’s first modern residence, and pioneering example of the characteristics that have come to define West Coast Modernism and the design principles that have since permeated city building efforts across the region. Under the auspices of Jesse Binning, who acted to preserve the house and surrounding grounds, it was recognized as a Municipally Designated Heritage Property in 1999, governed by Heritage Designation Bylaw No. 4157 and Heritage Maintenance Bylaw No. 4187, and a National Historic Site of Canada in 1997.
There is currently a development application in front of the District of West Vancouver for a Heritage Revitalization Agreement on the property. The proposal would see the house restored with some alteration in exchange for subdivision and increased density allowing for a much larger garage with caretaker suite, and a new residence to be built on what is now the existing terrace and yard.
- November 16, 2017: District of West Vancouver Design Review Committee considered the proposal and passed the following recommendations. According to the District, the proponent is required to address the recommendations and resubmit to the Design Review Committee for consideration.
THAT the Design Review Committee commends the applicant for the restoration of the Binning House and that the committee recommends RESUBMISSION that addresses the following concerns:
- Access to the new J House;
- Volume, scale and proximity of the J House in relationship to the Binning House;
- Provide a landscape plan for the entire site;
- Provide details of the green roof and planting materials;
- Consider the volume and sitting of the proposed new garage and caretaker suite; and
- Reconsider the extent of manipulation of the landscape to accommodate the proposed driveway.
- April 5, 2017: Proposal submitted to the District of West Vancouver
Application details can be found here:
Feedback: If you have any concerns about the proposal, speak up! Submit your comments directly to the District of West Vancouver. See contact details in the link above. Please also let us know your thoughts by posting to our Facebook page, or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the News:
“Changes Proposed for West Vancouver’s Historic Binning House Lot,” Brent Richter. October 14, 2017. North Shore News.
July 10, 2015
STATEMENT FROM THE WEST COAST MODERN LEAGUE
ON THE IMPENDING SALE OF THE B.C. BINNING HOUSE
VANCOUVER: After a lengthy court battle, the 1941 historic B.C. Binning House has finally been sold to a private buyer and the net proceeds will go to the University of British Columbia, as per the secondary wish stated in the will of Jessie Binning. Jessie’s first wish, as expressed in her will, was to have the House maintained for historic and scholarly purposes for the wider community. In the spirit of collaboration, we encourage the buyer whose own intentions honour the essence of Jessie’s first wish, who is appreciative of its unique cultural and historic value, and whose own plans for the house dovetail with the following:
- commitment of a minimum expenditure of $250,000 to restore the House;
- intention to allow limited periodic scholarly and community access to the House.
- consideration of a heritage covenant under Section 219 of the provincial Land Title Act to strengthen the current municipal protection against alteration or demolition;
Along with so many others in the community and across Canada, we are hoping that the impending sale will generate a positive outcome.
Adele Weder, Wendi Campbell, John Patkau, Mike Bernard, Kim Smith, Gavin Froome, Cameron McLellan and Jeanette Langmann
—Board of Directors, West Coast Modern League
Phyllis Lambert, Founding Director Emeritus, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal
Linda Fraser, Archivist and Chief Curator, Canadian Architectural Archives, Calgary
Cornelia Oberlander, Landscape Architect, Vancouver
—Advisors to the Board