Nestled between suburban tranquility and the rugged Canadian coastline, the Liminal House is a contemporary home in West Vancouver. Designed by McLeod Bovell Modern Houses, the seaside residence embodies the essence of liminality – the state of being betwixt and between, neither fully here nor there. At the heart of the design philosophy lies an understanding of transition, spurred by the homeowners’ impending journey of being empty nesters. The house serves not only as a physical space to live in, but as a narrative of passage “orchestrating movement through space.”

Liminal house with large glass windows and wooden panels, featuring a concrete terrace and reflection in a pool, surrounded by pine trees at dusk.

The physical manifestation of the liminal concept is evident throughout the aptly named house. The structure seamlessly merges with its natural surroundings while asserting its presence. Concrete, stained Accoya wood, and aluminum plate converge to form a sturdy yet elegant facade, resilient against the relentless onslaught of coastal elements.

Liminal house with large windows showing a sunset over the ocean, reflected in a sleek infinity pool.

Liminal house with large glass windows, reflecting pool in the foreground, and a sunset view in the background.

The architectural narrative eschews traditional notions of elevation, opting instead for a scenographic approach that invites exploration. Courtyards, cantilevered volumes, and integrated landscape features dissolve the boundaries between indoor and outdoor, inviting inhabitants to immerse themselves fully in the transitional space.

Liminal house featuring large windows and wood paneling, with a reflective pool in the foreground and a person walking inside.

Modern chairs beside an infinity pool with clear glass windows at the Liminal House overlooking a serene lake at sunset.

Central to the ethos of the Liminal House is its symbiotic relationship with nature. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer panoramic views of the ever-changing coastal landscape, blurring the distinction between the interior and exterior. Reflections bounce off of the dark pool and glass surfaces, imbuing the space with an ethereal quality.

Infinity pool edge with clear blue water overlooking a natural body of water, separated by a stone ledge under a clear sky at Liminal House.

Liminal house with angular design surrounded by lush greenery and stone steps leading up to the entrance.

Modern patio with stylish chairs overlooking a serene ocean sunset, under a textured overhang at the Liminal House.

The house spans three floors and almost 11,000 square feet with a garage, exhibition space for the owner’s classic cars, a spa, office, and mechanical areas on the lowest level. The middle floor is the main living area with an open floor plan, while the top floor houses the bedroom suites and additional rooms.

Modern outdoor patio with wooden paneling, sleek kitchenette, minimalist furniture, and a view of the hillside at the Liminal House.

Lapitec sintered stone, chosen for both form and function, adorns all of the floors and kitchen island, which appears to rise directly from the ground. The material is designed to withstand the effects of wind, UV rays, and sea salt, making it an ideal option for the areas receiving the most traffic and exposure. The light gray floor color is warmed up by the walls of wooden panels and black wooden barstools along one side of the island.

Liminal house interior with wooden walls and a minimalistic design, featuring a central island and two people, one at the counter and the other walking.

Modern kitchen in a Liminal House with sleek wood cabinets, black countertops, a large wooden dining table, chairs, and a cat walking by. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide natural light.

The rear wall is made up of sliding glass doors that dissolve the separation between the main living space and the swimming pool.

Modern dining room in a Liminal House with wooden walls and a large table, expansive glass windows offering a view of the ocean, and a detailed textured ceiling.

Liminal House interior with a large wooden table and two chairs overlooking a tranquil sea view through floor-to-ceiling windows at sunset.

Liminal House living room with large windows overlooking a lake, featuring a suspended fireplace, grey sectional sofa, and ottomans.

covered patio exterior of a modern concrete house looking through wall of glass into large home with black staircase.

A vintage car reflected in the large glass window of a liminal house with minimalist architectural features and concrete flooring.

Angled view of modern home interior with a black metal staircase and black wood ceiling.

Black stained Accoya wood is paired with concrete throughout creating a contrast that visually elevates every space, inside and out.

View of modern wood staircase next to wall of windows in a modern house.

view of two-story wood and black staircase next to wall of windows with man at far end of shot.

Interior courtyard with plants inside a modern concrete home surrounded by glass walls.

Interior courtyard of modern concrete house looking through glass windows at woman working at desk.

Modern office interior with wooden desks, black chairs, and large glass windows overlooking a liminal house.

Modern room interior of a Liminal House with a large window showing a view of a small garden with a tree, surrounded by concrete walls.

Modern living room in a Liminal House with a large glass window overlooking a garden with small trees and a concrete wall, featuring minimalistic furniture and an indoor rock bed.

Modern bathroom in Liminal House with a freestanding bathtub by a glass wall offering expansive views of the ocean.

Modern bedroom in a Liminal House with large window overlooking the ocean, featuring a minimalist bed, wooden walls, and a bedside lamp.

Sunset view from a modern coastal Liminal House with large windows, wooden fence, and landscaped garden featuring stones and shrubs.

A modern concrete house with geometric design elements overlooking a coastal landscape with lush greenery and a clear sky.

Liminal House features a modern architectural style with angular concrete design, large windows, and a landscaped garden with tall grasses.

A modern architectural garden featuring lush greenery, water features, and concrete elements, with a view of the House beside a distant water body under a clear sky.

Angled front view of boxy modern house made of concrete and black wood with front garden.

View of backside of modern concrete house with angular design looking up from a rocky cliff.

Photography by Hufton + Crow Photography.

Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.

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