Ned Pratt - Architect, Vancouver

When I was a young carpenter framing houses, wall studs were spaced at 16" while drywall and plywood panels came in 48" by 96" dimensions. The relation is 3 spaces between 4 wall studs providing vertical support for each 48"panel.

This economy of material and labour came from designers in the 1950's. Architect Ned Pratt was a west coast architect who was a part of the west coast regionalists who created modern post-and-beam homes. These homes were inexpensive to build and featured clean, well-proportioned lines with open and bright living space inside. (Some argue they also featured an abundance of 'fresh' air from the outside.)

Ned Pratt is best known for his work with fellow architect Ron Thom and the 1955 BC Electric Building at Burrard and Nelson, now known as The Electra since converted to living units in the 1990's. Browse the Internet to learn a bit about the history of The BC Electric Building / Electra.

The aesthetic of west coast post & beam homes designed by Pratt and his contemporaries Thom, Arthur Erickson and Fred Hollingsworth is wonderfully appealing and inspiring. The Ritchie residence on Ridgewood Drive near Edgemont Village is a well preserved and updated example of a Ned Pratt designed home, and I have read it may be his first, built in 1950 by contractors Nelson & Minions, according to the District of North Vancouver Walking Tour web page.

This house is currently for sale at an asking price well-above the reported original 1950 cost of $10,000.00. If you would consider purchasing a home like this call your Realtor for more details.

I hope this post inspires some of you with an interest in local architecture to go out into the community and explore your neighbourhood's history and architectural gems. Meet some neighbours and support your local shops while you're out here.

Have fun.

(Photo of the BC Electric building above by Robert Wallace from Flickr Creative Commons.)