The Binning House

The Binning House is a one-storey house located on a quiet residential street in West Vancouver. Designed in 1939 by Bertram Charles Binning, the house is a very early example of the Modern architectural movement in Canada. Built into a sloping site overlooking Burrard Inlet and Vancouver, the design of the house has geometric forms with open-plan layouts, trapezoidal shapes in both glass and tile, angled furniture and walls, and murals. The residence is an impressive mix of both art and architecture.

Since its completion in 1941, many artists and architects made the pilgrimage to see and experience the house and visit with Bert and his wife Jessie. Despite the fact that now modernist technologies are entrenched in practically every aspect of day-to-day life, it is difficult to comprehend how revolutionary the Binning Residence would have been at the time of its creation. The house and its designer strongly influenced other famous Canadian architects, like Arthur Erickson and Ron Thom. Bertram Binning passed away in 1976 and his widow Jessie continued to live in the house until 2007 at the age of 101.

Though a National Historic Site and Municipal Heritage Site, concerns about the long-term conservation of the house arose in 2007 when Jessie Binning passed away with no direct heirs. Her will outlined her desire for the house and furnishings to be preserved for historical purposes through a foundation. The Land Conservancy was approached to help.

As of March 2012, The Land Conservancy is pleased to announce the completion of a detailed Heritage Conservation Plan for the site. The Plan was done by Don Luxton and Associates and funded through generous grants from the West Vancouver Community Foundation and Parks Canada’s Historic Places Cost Sharing Program. Copies are available upon request. The completed Plan is an extensive document that provides a summary of the historical significance of the house and its previous owners and outlines actions that could be taken to conserve and interpret the property for the benefit of the community, along with some ongoing potential management models.

Public access is not available at this time. A community group is exploring ideas to preserve and make the house available for the community to experience.

Source: The Land Conservancy

Connections

Don Luxton and Associates
Parks Canada