Park Lane: An architectural ode to the Canadian west coast

Mossadiq Umedaly thought he would live in his Park Lane home for the rest of his life. The West Vancouver waterfront mansion is the home of his dreams, the perfect amalgamation of his love for architecture, sustainable energy and attention to detail.

 

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But now Umedaly faces health and mobility challenges. “Even a few steps are difficult for me. I need a home that’s absolutely flat, so a condominium would work much better; the house is just too big for me now,” he relates. 

 

So Park Lane is now on the market, ready for new inhabitants to revel in its beauty. Built in 2008 on an apple orchard formerly owned by a member of Vancouver’s notable Woodward family, the home spans 9,432 square feet (including storage, steam room, elevator and four-car garage). 

 

Umedaly – a former chair of BC Hydro and a leader in the renewable energy industry with stints at companies including Xantrex Technology and Ballard Power Systems – made sure the home was as energy-efficient as possible.

 

“All the roof water and all the water from the driveway is collected and put in a cistern which is adjacent to the pool...and sits underneath the ground,” explains Umedaly. “It’s recycled for landscaping water.” 

 

The home has geothermal heating and cooling for low emissions and re-circulation of rain water to use for landscaping, and concrete and Pennsylvania blue stone walls that retain heat or cold very well. That means Park Lane, located in West Vancouver’s Altamont neighbourhood on the waterfront, has the capability, with the addition of solar power which it is designed to accommodate, to be fully net zero.

 

Brought to life by architect Paul Grant, the home was inspired by the vision of the great Frank Lloyd Wright, who had his own passions for utility and sustainable innovation. 

 

“This house was designed, I would say, from the inside out, meaning you want to know how things flow into the house,” Umedaly says. “A lot of that came into the design: the processes that take place. I got the furniture ordered before the house was designed. You look at all those things and all the people that are going to live in the home, what their needs are. It’s literally design from the inside out.”

 

Aside from its marvels from environmental and practical standpoints, Park Lane is also  gorgeous. Bringing the outdoors in through its thoughtful use of materials, the Pennsylvania Bluestone exterior gives way to an interior of calming concrete, cozy brick, and comforting wood. It’s a perfect ode to the Canadian west coast, with natural light pouring in from multiple directions and expansive floor-to-ceiling windows framed in edge-grain fir.

 

Then there’s what lies beyond those windows and the idyllic deck and the geothermal infinity pools: A beautiful 180- degree vista view of Burrard Inlet. “The home is designed to honour the land, to take advantage of the views,” says Umedaly. 

 

Even the ceiling height was taken under careful consideration to ensure the formation of a space that felt liveable long-term. “It’s a fairly large house, but it doesn’t look large and that’s what I like about it,” Umedaly says. 

 

“It doesn’t have extra-high ceilings; the human dimension was kept in mind in the design. If you have very high ceilings, it looks great for a while and then it looks like a hotel. So it’s high enough, but we wanted a Zen design, a very calming design.”

 

He admits it’s that feeling of instant serenity, coupled with the incredible precision that went into the creation of the home, that he’ll miss the most. But hopefully whoever lives in Park Lane next will share Umedaly’s appreciation for design and sustainability, carrying on the legacy of the home of his dreams.

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