Architect Daniel Evan White's prized Mate House

‘Buddha-like’ Vancouver architect Daniel Evan White at MOV’s ‘Playhouse’

The Museum of Vancouver's newest exhibit, starring the work of the late, famed west coast architect, opens on Wednesday.

Vancouver architect Daniel Evan White’s work headlines the newest exhibit from the Museum of Vancouver, and 36 of his famed residential projects are now on display – albeit, in much smaller versions of the original – at ‘Playhouse’, which opens to the public on Wednesday, Oct. 16.

In a release, the museum described White as “Buddha-like”, and his work as distinct west coast architecture.

“While Arthur Erickson, Fred Hollingsworth, and Ron Thom garnered international fame, their contemporary – Vancouver-born and raised Daniel Evan White – quietly broke boundaries while raising stunning houses amongst Vancouver’s rugged landscape,” the release reads.

In consulting statements posted about White, who passed away in 2012, he sounds like a British Columbian Gaudi. The architect was little-known to a large audience throughout his life, because he strived to avoid wide-spread publicity, but his customer base was loyal and often returned to him, says MOV.

“I had the impression of being in the presence of a private man, a man who had a Buddha-like quality and who made a house speak the way a Dylan Thomas poem makes a grown man weep or a Lawren Harris clean line painting evokes the grandeur of Canada,” said Bruce Fraser, in his 2012 eulogy to White.

36 of the architect’s projects are now on display at the Museum of Vancouver’s ‘Playhouse’, but White completed over 100 similar designs and creations in his career.

As if to prove his niche appeal, White currently has a Tumblr blog, but no Wikipedia page. Erickson’s legacy, however, is well-established.

“Dan was a very quiet, modest man,” says ‘Playhouse’ curator Martin Lewis, in MOV’s release. “Those who worked with Dan saw him as an innovator of design. Some of Dan’s ideas were so unconventional at the time that they must have seemed like sheer folly. But now we see not only that they worked, but that they have withstood the test of time.”

The exhibit includes stories and 3D generated models, as well as a replica of White’s Mate House (photo above).

*More photos below…

Portrait of Vancouver architect Daniel Evan White

Portrait of Daniel Evan White.

The work of Daniel Evan White

The work of Daniel Evan White, above and below…

Mate House by Daniel Evan White

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