For this retired couple from Alberta, adequate garage space for their Lamborghini Aventador Coupé was the driving force behind their search for a new home. With insufficient space to park their luxury vehicles at their Rockland home, the couple went shopping for a house in the right location with potential to build a sizeable garage to house up to eight cars. Nestled among mature trees in a quiet Uplands neighbourhood, the 1990’s home with ocean glimpses would become the future showroom for the prized Lambo. After working with Darren Wark of DBW Contracting on their Rockland home, the couple turned to the contractor again to transform the dated dwelling into a stunning backdrop, not only for their vehicles but their growing Indigenous art collection.
Natural materials like Douglas fir, glass and stone topped the owner’s wishlist to create a gallery-like, west coast aesthetic that would complement their substantial Indigenous art collection. Working with the existing roofline, Wark created a gorgeous fir overhang and moved the door outward by three feet to create a more striking grand entrance. With no actual hardware on the four-by-eight-foot front door, the high-tech door works on a magnetic strike.
Above the front door, the “Salmon Run” glasswork by Charles Gabriel is based on the life cycle of the salmon where the life journey of the fish begins and ends in the same waterway. Inspired by the owner’s love of west coast fishing, Gabriel created a piece that would frame the solid wood door and add diffused light to the interior without compromising privacy.
Once inside, guests are greeted by a striking custom curved staircase with a self-supporting glass guard that keeps sight lines unobstructed. Between glass bending and building the Doussie wood stairs and handrail with inset stone, the entire staircase took six months to build.
After serendipitously meeting Jason Hunt, the carver responsible for a recently purchased wood paddle, the couple developed a relationship with the renowned Kwaguilth nation carver and commissioned him to create at least thirteen pieces for their new home.
Like his family before him — father Stanley Hunt, Uncles Chief Tony Hunt, Richard Hunt and Great-Grandfather, Chief Mungo Martin (the carver responsible for the world’s fourth largest totem in Beacon Hill Park), Hunt limits the use of power tools and favours traditional methods of hand tools to carve and finish his pieces. The owners even commissioned a totem from Hunt which, strategically placed in the front garden, can be viewed from various vantage points.
Bringing a touch of the couple’s previous post and beam home, Wark softened the main floor open plan by adding a fir ceiling and evaded a stark drywall look by creating a natural ledge rock wall to feature a striking Jason Hunt mask. With over 130 LED pot lights on the main floor alone and 60 track heads in the garage, lighting received a healthy portion of the reno’s budget.
Enthusiastic about building interiors that seamlessly connect to the outdoors, Wark built a 46-foot long kitchen that includes the outdoor kitchen space. An industrious five-by-eleven foot island becomes the kitchen’s focal point and a place for guests to gather when the owners are cooking. A beverage fridge conveniently located at one end of the island and an adjacent glassware cabinet allow guests to help themselves without interrupting the chef’s work flow. Twenty-seven pull-out pantry units boost this culinary kitchen’s functionality.
Double glass doors open to the outdoor kitchen and dining area boasting a 36-inch barbecue, a 48-inch range with dual oven and griddle top, beverage fridge and sink. Built-in heaters keep the area cozy during the winter months while the eleven-by-nineteen-foot long skylight panels flood the space with natural light while keeping the area dry.
“Built into one of the outdoor walls, a 50-inch television with an auto-lift and full surround sound system with hidden subwoofer creates a perfect atmosphere for movie night. The pattern in the decking was designed to generate distinctive areas on the expansive patio and create vignettes of space for outdoor furnishings,” states Wark.
The home’s pièce de résistance, a luxury showroom for the owner’s prized collection of luxury cars can house up to eight cars depending on how they are parked. Wark adds that “the inspiration for the garage was a formula one pit garage. With a Lamborghini, Ferrari and two corvettes, we wanted to make the space equivalent to the investment of the cars.” Food for thought: the Lamborghini Aventador Coupé has a price tag of $500,000.
“When I saw the owner’s Ferrari 458, I wanted to create cabinets (repurposed from the original kitchen with new fronts) in the same intensity of red and ended up using fourteen coats of Ferrari Rosso Scuderia red to make it match perfectly.” A ninety-inch TV with surround sound, programmable lighting, a heating system and a subzero fridge covered in carbon fibre complete the extravagant garage.
For visual contrast in the polished environment, Wark incorporated an exposed rock that he discovered under the foundation of the house. “Covered in solid concrete, we sandblasted the rock for two days to reveal a smooth surface and jagged juxtaposition to the pristine cars. Paying homage to the owner’s passion for cars, I wanted to integrate a historical reference and printed a black and white photo of the 1957 Grande Pris for the wall surrounding the rock.”
In classic renovation fashion, the task list mounted as the transformation progressed, but what wasn’t typical, says Wark, was the project’s budget. “What aren’t we doing to the home became the reno’s big question.” Needless to say, there is a significant amount of security in the house; a high-tech camera system allows the owners to observe activity around the house from all over the world.