Unbuilt Vancouver: Lotus House


Just in time for the rainy season, we investigate a project completed by Intern Architect Marissa Xi Wang during her tenure as a student at the UBC School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA).

Lotus House Concept Rendering by Marissa Xi Wang
Lotus House Concept Rendering by Marissa Xi Wang

The Lotus House was designed for a Single Family House studio in 2013 under professor Professor Blair Satterfield. Marissa describes the design:

Vancouver is a city of rain. Months of rainwater saturate the air and nourish life in Vancouver. The conventional single family house rooftop is either flat or pitched, and it repeats the monologue. How can roof forms converse with the incessant rain? By drawing from the properties of a lotus plant, and the motion of the lotus leaf, is it possible to enliven the architectural language of the roof?

A Conversation of the Lotus and the Rain:

The properties of the lotus leaf is converted into an architectural language; an energy core serves the dual purpose of a regenerator and as a water display platform. The Lotus Roof re-forms the living space: it brings light to the centre of the house and collected rain water irrigates the greenhouse inside. Beauty and function of the lotus is now within the single family home.”

The biomimicry-inspired design, while unusual in the face of Vancouver’s current single family housing stock brings into question what future generations of local architecture will look like and challenges new designers, planners, developers, and financiers to be more creative. If you are interested in Marissa and her work she can be reached at wangxi@hotmail.ca and her Instagram account is Marissa Xi Wang (@marissaxi).

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James is an Intern Architect who aims to re-imagine the future of the metro area through the creative, youthful design studies conducted by the local art, photography, industrial design, architecture, and urbanism community. If you are interested in seeing your work showcased on Vancouver is Awesome, please submit a package including at minimum imagery and a brief description to jamesavbligh@gmail.com. No formatting is required for a submission. Only those designers whose work is selected for the blog will be contacted. Student and alumni submissions are welcome and encouraged.