top of page


Arch Design Award 



Architectural Design Category


Liminal House

Designed by

Matthew McLeod, Lisa Bovell/ McLeod Bovell Modern Houses






Team Members:

Liminal House

Residential Architecture

West Vancouver, Canada

Matthew McLeod, Lisa Bovell/ McLeod Bovell Modern Houses

Daan Murray, Daniel Ching

Photo Credits:

Hufton+Crow, 2022


McLeod Bovell Modern Houses, 2022

The clients came to us at a pivotal stage in their lives as soon-to-be empty nesters. Their evolving needs became the impetus for how we imagined a house that could embody the state of transition at a conceptual and experiential level. The word ‘liminal’ encapsulates ideas that have informed our design process: the feeling of inhabiting a transitory place; orchestrating movement through space; and dwelling in the moments between from and to...

The project site straddles the interstice between a suburban area and West Vancouver’s stony seashore. Liminal House borrows its form from creatures that occupy this territory—who, by necessity, don hard shells over their vulnerable cores. In the same spirit, the house composes its exterior out of concrete, accoya and metal to protect its internal glazed courtyards. Landscaped gardens extended under cantilevered volumes dismantle boundaries between the built and the natural.

The changing outdoor atmosphere at the shore not only animates the house, but is in turn animated by the house. Views are framed between solid walls and glass walls—their images duplicated by a dark pool at the edge of the property and by the glazing of internal courtyards. Reflections and refractions of the outdoors evoke a feeling of being neither here nor there, but somewhere in between.

Sustainability is a considerable factor in our material selection. The Accoya wood used as exterior cladding is Cradle to Cradle® Gold Certified. The raw material is made of abundant and fast-growing species from sustainably managed forests with FSC® designation. Interior floors are tiled in Lapitec, sintered stone slabs composed entirely of natural materials without resinous binders. The result is an inert product free of VOCs, earning recognition from the European Commission. Finally, the extensive glazing system from Panoramah uses thermally insulated glazing units with low-E coating to reduce heat loss which, in turn, lowers the building’s energy consumption.

bottom of page