Hwang House Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Designed 1980 The Hwang residence recognizes, for its inspiration, both the ancestry of the client and the native traditions of the Soo Chow houses of Northern China. In Soo Chow, a pair of traditional houses were oriented in opposite directions from a common back wall, and were composed of a long series of simple rooms oriented towards courtyards or balconies on the second storey. The residence and its courtyards and gardens were comprehensively planned in the manner of these Soo Chow houses. Each courtyard is different in character and relates to the activities or functions of the spaces it supports. Tall stuccoed courtyard walls subdivide the site into a variety of distinct spatial experiences. Between the fence and the courtyards are undulating planted mounds symbolic of the Soo Chow hillscape. Access to the residence is across a bridge over a large reflecting pool planted with lilies and water iris, and stocked with koi, lion fish, and turtles. A small reflecting pool terminates the entrance sequence beyond the entry way. The secondary family and service entrance is through the courtyards from the fruit and kitchen garden through the portal in the standing courtyard walls to the pot garden and family room. These portals align with a viewing platform on the edge of the reflecting pool. A three-step level change from the dining room to the entry and again down to the living room accommodates a higher ceiling in the living room and brings it closer to the water level of the reflecting pool. Natural light is reflected from the pool into the recreation room below the dining room in the basement level. A skylit cantilevered extension of the living room breaks the regular fourteen foot longitudinal grid plan and further strengthens the direct relationship of the interior to the garden. There are continuous skylights at both the edges of the roof on the long axis of the plan, which, on the north, wash the two storey ochre stucco wall in the living room and the stairwell with natural light and, on the south, bring light behind stucco panels into bathrooms and behind movable wood screens to the deck areas of the second storey bedrooms. Naturally finished structural poles are exposed throughout the house as are trimmed structural beams. Panels of integral ochre coloured stucco are used in both exterior and interior locations.