Photo Credit: Andre Rowland
2870 W 47TH Ave, Vancouver BC
Designed by Charles E. Pratt (Ned) and built in 1947, the Saba Residence at 2870 W 47th Ave is an early and important example of West Coast Modern Style, a design movement of the 1940s. A significant figure in the modern architecture movement in Canada, Pratt also designed the War Memorial Gym at UBC (1951) and the B.C. Hydro Building (1955-57), now called the Electra Building.
Saba Residence is a two storey, wood-frame rectangular home with post and beam framing. Typical of West Coast Modern style, Saba Residence is well integrated into the landscape, with the front entrance removed from the street. Modest and untreated materials, an open floorplan, a flat stepped shed roof, exposed stairs, and a strong link between interior and exterior spaces are all West Coast Modern aspects of this house. The house also features floor to ceiling windows, clapboard siding, and the main floor living space on a grade.
The Saba family moved to the west coast in the 1880s from Lebanon, first to Nanaimo, before settling in Vancouver. In 1903, brothers Mike and Alexander Saba opened the Saba Brothers store on West Hastings, and by 1940 they were the largest silk retailer in the province, and opened a new store on Granville Street in 1947. Saba Residence was built for Alexander’s son Clarence, who later managed the business with his brothers.