Art Moderne Heritage Home

Raymond de Beeld (B.A., M. Evds (Arch), MAIBC) of Raymond de Beeld Achitect Inc.  set out to transform a unique Art Moderne styled heritage house near downtown Nanaimo into a new commercial office space for his firm with Pheasant Hill Homes as the renovator.  Raymond had a clear vision of what he wanted the space to be: an open, communicative layout for the architects to work and collaborate in, with design elements that showed off their ability to blend creativity, functionality and cost effectiveness.  He succeeded.  In addition to this, it was important to preserve the appearance of the home, which had become a landmark for many people of Nanaimo.  The “big white stucco building,” as everyone in town seems to refer to it, has design qualities cherished by many architects. Because Art Moderne was born out of the German Bauhaus movement in the 1930’s, the house displays many of the sleek, sophisticated signatures recognized as “modern architecture,” even today.  The flat roof, the simple massing, and the wrap-around windows are common on contemporary design today, but at the time of the original home’s construction, these were cutting edge architectural features designed to make the home functional and beautiful all at once.  Not content to sit on the laurels of Art Moderne, however, Raymond de Beeld introduced some new life into the old design.  Bright primary colours now adorn both the exterior and interior throughout.  Rustic reclaimed fir lumber was refashioned into fun and sophisticated shelving.  The resident architects’ entrance into the office was designed to be a sophisticated modern cedar rainscreen vestibule that acts as a perfect counterpoint to the historic nature of the house.  And Pheasant Hill even helped Ray pick up a length of re-claimed maple bowling alley from DEMXX, which we then lovingly turned into a beautiful 12′ long boardroom table.  It was so enormous (and heavy!) that we had to crane it up to the second story boardroom.  Design considerations aside, environmental responsibility is also an important consideration in everything Raymond de Beeld Architect Inc. creates.  Pheasant Hill Homes fit into this role perfectly, as a contractor with a special focus on energy efficient building practices.  It was important to have a contractor and architect who spoke the same language when incorporating energy upgrades such as spray foam, vapour barrier paint, mini-split heat pumps, point of use on-demand hot water heaters and solar tube skylights.  Because of the work we performed for Raymond, a cold, drafty, poorly insulated (or insulation free in some spots!) heritage house has been altered into a much tighter, thermally efficient commercial space that is comfortable to work in, and a pleasure to look at.

Photography Credit:  Artez Photography

Project Type



Nanaimo, BC


January 1, 2012
2023 VIBE Award - Excellence in Energy Efficiency in New Residential Construction
Art Moderne Heritage Home
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