Our friend and close collaborator, designer Klára Šumová and her partner graphic designer Dirk Wright, discovered hidden garden and house of the famous Canadian modernist architect Arthur Erickson (1924 – 2009) in Vancouver for us.


Arthur Erickson lived everywhere, mostly hotel rooms, while travelling the world lecturing, building and seeking inspiration in the places he visited. As admirers of his work, we wanted to learn about his own house.

Erikson was Canadian, and at the end of his travels, Vancouver was home. It was there that he resided in two places; his 80 person office and his little house. On the parcel of land purchased, two existing garages were joined together. He didn't need much. A kitchen, a study and two large windows—one to the sky and the other to his garden. The garden was a project realised with his students and it was there that he applied spacial experiments with the ground, water and plant species. The area is beautifully sectioned, as you walk the permitter, the garden begins to feel like large piece of land.

The residence is surrounded by a cedar fence. There is little to be seen from the street, no house, no structures, only tree tops. A perfect place for parties, which close friends can confirm happened often. He was a gracious host; on the occasion of the Swan Lake premier, two swans were specially invited to the after-party for an evening in the pond. Guests were entertained on the grounds and on the island—his "moon-viewing platform."

The house is currently rented by a family friend, the garden is opened as a museum by appointment.

Photo and story: Klára Šumová, Dirk Wright