When Arno Matis Architecture was tapped to help reshape the identity of Vancouver’s Cambie Street, they designed Aperture, a beautiful site-responsive residential development. The city-block-sized structure derives its name from its striking aperture-like openings with glass-and-wood veneer walls angled in response to each facade’s unique solar exposure. Built to LEED Gold specifications, Aperture maximizes passive shading and is topped with green roofs.


Aperture in Vancouver, Aperture on Cambie Street, Aperture by Arno Matis Architecture, Aperture residences in Vancouver, Responsive Density Design, Arno Matis Architecture Cambie Street, LEED Gold Vancouver

Aperture in Vancouver, Aperture on Cambie Street, Aperture by Arno Matis Architecture, Aperture residences in Vancouver, Responsive Density Design, Arno Matis Architecture Cambie Street, LEED Gold Vancouver

Created using Arno Matis Architecture’s “Responsive Density Design” strategy, Aperture emphasizes “social porosity” and urban connections. In response to the site context, the 98,000-square-foot building steps down from two six-story mid-rise blocks located along a busy street down to four two-story villas more in scale to the single-family neighborhood in the north. Two courtyard axes bisect the development to allow for the penetration of natural light and mountain views.

Aperture in Vancouver, Aperture on Cambie Street, Aperture by Arno Matis Architecture, Aperture residences in Vancouver, Responsive Density Design, Arno Matis Architecture Cambie Street, LEED Gold Vancouver

Aperture in Vancouver, Aperture on Cambie Street, Aperture by Arno Matis Architecture, Aperture residences in Vancouver, Responsive Density Design, Arno Matis Architecture Cambie Street, LEED Gold Vancouver

Related: LEED Gold UBC Aquatic Center takes an innovative approach to water recycling

“Stratigraphic architectural themes echo the area’s mid-century modern architectural vocabulary,” wrote the architects. “Cantilever decks and strong horizontal lines create a sense of lightness and lower the massing profile.” The angled walls that frame each aperture, made of mahogany veneer sandwiched between two encapsulated UV glass layers, lend the building a sense of warmth. The insulated glass also increases thermal resistance and reduces solar gain.

+ Arno Matis Architecture

Images © Michael Elkan

Aperture in Vancouver, Aperture on Cambie Street, Aperture by Arno Matis Architecture, Aperture residences in Vancouver, Responsive Density Design, Arno Matis Architecture Cambie Street, LEED Gold Vancouver

Aperture in Vancouver, Aperture on Cambie Street, Aperture by Arno Matis Architecture, Aperture residences in Vancouver, Responsive Density Design, Arno Matis Architecture Cambie Street, LEED Gold Vancouver