Vancouver is surrounded by ocean and mountains. Its unique building culture makes for a varied tapestry of building styles, many of which try to capture the view.

The Ice Box Challenge design seeks to capture one such view and present it abstractly. The Lions, or Ch’ich’iyúy Elxwíkn (Twin Sisters), are unique to Vancouver and are recognizable from much of the region.

The mountain landmark informed Stark Architecture’s Ice Boxes. Their faceted forms and white walls deflect and reflect light, just as the snow-covered Lions do.

About the Ice Boxes

Each Ice Box sits tightly on its own platform. The Ice Boxes are built with timber studs and plywood. The Passive House Ice Box is over-insulated with Roxul insulation and its window is triple-glazed, according to the Passive House Standard.

Both structures are clad in treated oriented strand board, which is painted and waterproofed.

The Ice Boxes and platforms were built offsite, then delivered and pieced together onsite.


Feel free to investigate the Ice Boxes. Peer into the windows. Note the differences between the Ice Boxes and how Passive House design helps to keep the summer heat out and the cool air in.

Sit on the timber box bench and admire the view. Remember to look up at the Lions.