The Poole Renovation
A local icon for West Coast design
This design and architectural landmark in Edmonton which is featured in the book, “Capital Modern: Edmonton Architecture and Modern Design 1940-1969” is credited with helping shape the city’s modernist design movement back in the sixties. An extensive renovation restored the home with energy efficient upgrades, while at the same time respecting its historic significance.
One of the owners had been a longtime admirer of the 1960’s Poole House growing up, and when the opportunity came up to buy the house, the new owners were thrilled. They wanted to retain the home’s historical floor-to-ceiling wood-framed windows, exposed post-and-beam construction, clean lines and airy interior. They also wanted to make the home larger and so the plan included a second storey addition providing extra square footage. It was important to them that the addition seamlessly blend in with the original home construction both inside and out. And lastly, they wanted to have energy efficient upgrades incorporated throughout the house which would result in lower operating costs of the house and pool.
To retain the essence of the house, we needed to safeguard all its unique features, and where necessary bring some of them back to their former glory. For example, some of the exterior wood had been damaged by weather and so needed to be re-stained. Skilled architectural planning was necessary to design a second storey addition that blended perfectly with the home’s original West Coast influences. Special steps were taken to find rough sawn cedar for the extension that matched the cladding used in the original build. The new bedrooms located in the addition have the same wood finishing as did the original bedrooms. Every bedroom has a balcony which opens on to the beautifully treed surroundings of the home.
For increased efficiency, all windows, electrical systems and appliances were upgraded. A geothermal and solar collection system was installed to offset the high costs of running the now larger home and heated swimming pool. Performance of those systems was assisted by new thermal conducting concrete flooring. The Poole House will continue to be the admirable landmark it has always been, just revitalized and adapted for present day environmental efficiency.
A custom, hydraulic partition was installed to permit, as desired, the separation of the dining room and kitchen with a view to transforming the dining area into a more formal space for entertaining. Skylights were added to the kitchen area to increase natural light to the area. The kitchen was renovated to include efficient storage options such as an appliance garage.
The home was originally designed for two, and now needed to accommodate a family of six. The main floor layout was reconfigured to include an open riser staircase to the second-floor addition which added additional square footage. By having open risers, light can enter freely from the window at the landing of the U-shaped staircase to the areas above and below the staircase itself. The staircase is partially supported by airline cables which run from the bottom of the stairs to the roof.
Custom coloured concrete flooring
Custom-coloured white concrete floors were poured in place of the home’s original fitted wool rugs. Concrete was chosen for its modern feel and used throughout the entirety of the home so as to have zero accessibility barriers. They’re also a great conduit for the integrated radiant heating pipes and perfect for cleaning up after kids!
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