6821 Laurel Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6P, Canada
Links and documents
1957/01/01 to 1958/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Dodek Residence consists of a two-storey wood-frame residential house in the shape of a wide "U", with white stucco walls, dark-stained wood details, and a shake roof. It is located on a quiet residential street in the Oakridge area of Vancouver.
Built in 1957-58, the Dodek Residence is important for its historic, aesthetic and cultural significance. It is particularly notable for its association with architect Ron Thom and as a superior example of residential design in the Oakridge area, a suburb of Vancouver developed between the 1940s and 1960s for an aspiring middle class clientele, often with cosmopolitan histories.
This residence was designed by architect Ron Thom, one of the most celebrated Vancouver architects of the post-war era. For his particular skills in adapting the Wrightian modern house plan to the west coast environment and the small lot typical of suburban Vancouver, Thom won the Architectural Institute of British Columbia Award of Honour in 1960 for the design of the Dodek house for its "delicate restraint, consistency of detail and its excellent plan".
The Dodek Residence represents the desire for residential design that accommodated the domestic needs of the suburban nuclear family, intermingled with contemporary artistic and technical practices. It reflects the Modernist preference for uncluttered light-filled leisure-oriented spaces, a close interplay of interior and exterior spaces, and incorporation of private exterior spaces as living space, all promoting what was considered to be a healthy family environment.
Following an ideal of Modernist design, the massing of the house expresses the hierarchy of its main and subordinate rooms. The use of simply finished materials (white sand-float stucco with dark-stained wood details) illustrates the inspiration of Japanese detailing in the work of the local design community during the late-1950s and 1960s.
The importance of the automobile in suburban domestic life of the era is demonstrated by the prominence and careful detailing of the carport, and by the extent of the auto court. The concealed path to the almost-hidden front doorway contributes to the sense of domestic privacy sought after in the suburban development of the time.
Source: City of Vancouver Heritage Conservation Program
The character-defining elements of the Dodek Residence include:
Siting, Context and Landscape
- Set well back from the road with an enclosed patio and natural screening at the back property line
- Form and detailing displaying Far-eastern and/or Wrightian influences
- Massing, which gives expression to main living space
- Exposed structural details: exposed rafter tails, collar ties (featured prominently in the carport), knee braces supporting subordinate roofs, and bolted wood joints
- Resolution of spaces into distinct wings
- Lighting fixtures, door and window detailing, brick chimney detailing, and simple finishes (white stucco and dark-stained wood detailing)
- Plantings which, with south fence and hedging, form a south-facing private courtyard adjacent to the main floor living spaces
- Auto court and carport
- Landscaping species and organization to promote a sense of privacy, and passage to the front door
City of Vancouver
Vancouver Charter, s.593
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Vancouver Heritage Conservation Program
Cross-Reference to Collection