You’ve likely seen the striking concrete and glass works of architect James K.M. Cheng that dot Vancouver’s downtown core: the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel, the Shaw Tower, the Nordstrom building and 62-storey Shangri-La skyscraper, to name a few.
But before those iconic projects, the former Arthur Erickson apprentice designed a home in the Delbrook area of North Vancouver.
Originally built in 1975, the 3,550 square-foot “Peninsula House” at 4069 Madeley Rd. was listed on Friday for $3.125 million.
Situated on just over a quarter-acre lot in a wooded area, the cedar-clad home overlooks district parkland and is bordered by two natural waterways.
The interior features natural wood finishings and large windows, and has six bedrooms and four bathrooms.
Commissioned by a young family of Hong Kong fashion professionals early in Cheng’s career, the project allowed him to explore the West Coast Modern style while paying tribute to his architectural hero, Louis Kahn, according to the real estate firm that listed the home.
“As one of Cheng’s earliest projects, the Peninsula House was a testing ground for design concepts that he would later use when designing the glass towers that have come to shape downtown Vancouver’s skyline and Vancouverism in general,” said Trent Rodney, an agent with the West Coast Modern firm.
Cheng viewed houses as an opportunity to explore design ideas that could later be rolled out at a city scale, according to a statement from the listing firm. This house followed that trend, with its two-storey, loft-style living room: a feature that would later be found in many of the condo towers that Cheng designed in Vancouver.
“Cheng’s influence on Vancouver’s iconic skyline cannot be understated,” Rodney continued. “Nearly 40 of the 150 towers built in the city’s downtown peninsula were designed by him – including the city’s tallest, Living Shangri-La.”
Another one of Cheng’s homes in the Shaughnessy area was listed in November 2021 for $16.8 million, before dropping several times to $8.7 million last June. The listing for 1462 Connaught Dr. was removed in July 2022, according to Zillow.com.