Outdoor Living in Outdoor Rooms

Synthesis Design Inspiration

I have been designing houses in Greater Vancouver for many years. Every once a while, I go back to Beijing to visit my family and friends and each trip back to China I realize how much the climate and environment affect our homes and lifestyles. While the apartment balconies in Beijing are enclosed with glass and equipped with air conditioning units, most people in Vancouver, …

Where New House Meets Old

Synthesis Design Inspiration

While my future colleagues from Synthesis were implementing Canadian design on Russian fields, I was exploring Canada and the famous “Canadian house” design and technology. My past experience in Russian residential design was based primarily on houses built from brick, concrete block, and log wood. During that time I had a general knowledge of wood frame construction from my University studies. I had never met …

from barbie’s doll house to yours.

Synthesis Design Inspiration

Every few years, my parents would get the itch to move. Soon, I would find myself in what my parents called “fixer uppers”. Several times, I was horrified at the new house I was supposed to call “home,” but they always told me to wait and see… Slowly these places transformed into my parents’ works of art. I learned at a young age that a …

It’s All About the Tools

Synthesis Design Inspiration

Before starting any job, one should always have the right tools. First, it means you have thought about what is required from start to finish and the tools needed to do the many tasks. Second, the proper tools will help you work through problems, no matter how complicated. Finally, with the right tools you can accomplish jobs with greater precision and satisfaction. One day a …

From Pattaya’s Floating Market to Traditional Chinese House Design

Synthesis Design Inspiration

I had a great vacation in Pattaya, right before Chinese New Year. Besides the beautiful beaches and ocean, my wife and I really enjoyed travelling in the city as well. In Pattaya, vendors sold delicious Thai food, and exotic souvenir shops could be easily found at every street corner, spread throughout the whole city. If you want to go to one place and one place …

Designing for sun on the Sunshine Coast

Synthesis Design Inspiration

Just in time for summer, our modern waterfront cabin project has reached a few milestones. (We use the term “cabin” lightly.) The dock has now been connected to the terra firma via a concrete landing with an inset cedar deck and a set of locally cut, open riser landscape stairs. Our experiment with using a stained cementitious cladding, complete with exposed connectors and metal flashing …