The goal is to create domestic architecture that connects emotionally with the occupants and provides an affirmation of their life. An architecture durable enough to last for many generations that not only confirms and sustains the natural world of which it is a part, but reflects the way in which we biologically perceive meaning in our world. An architecture that inspires respect, and creates a desire in the user to maintain and preserve its life. Design philosophy evolves with an understanding of how nature creates all material forms whether organic or inorganic through growth patterns involving three generating and universal phenomenon: energy, geometry, and synergy.

The design of architectural form is similar to an evolutionary process and involves recognizing the importance of ancient structures of the evolved human brain and the profound implications of the different scales of time and space in electromagnetic organic processes. Synergy is the unexpected behaviour of whole systems unpredictable by the behaviour of their parts taken separately. Understanding synergy lies in a study of relationships and patterns. Patterns are ordered arrays of elements. Current practice is focussed on applying synergistic pattern theories and adapting them to domestic architecture, in a West coast regional climatic and geographic context, incorporating passive solar energy strategies and geothermal systems as part of the design rationale, creating synergistic patterns with indigenous materials.

The Region


All architecture is regional. Sited in a particular geographic and climatic location, like a plant, rooted in the earth and adapted to its location on earth. Creating patterns of structure, resisting gravity, turning to the light of the sun. The climatic, geographic, & cultural characteristics of a region determine the initial context for architectural design.The coast of British Columbia has a specific kind of light, heavy Pacific rainfalls, regular cloud cover, and spectacular coastal forests on mountain fiords that reach down into the sea. These regional climatic and geographic elements are a major influence on residential design in the Pacific Northwest.


There is a lot of moisture in the atmosphere of the West Coast of British Columbia year round. Tiny water droplets reflect, disperse,and absorb the rays of sunlight and create a “light fill” condition in which the whole sky becomes the light source. This diffuse light softens form, and diminishes the clarity of smaller details. Large overhangs shade light from the windows, so larger windows, skylights, and open floor plans allow the light back in, conserving energy and ensuring a strong connection with rhythmic solar patterns that vary throughout the seasons. Orientation is important to take advantage of this pattern.


The Pacific Northwest is known as a rainforest climate. Cloud cover, moist air, and rain are common. Roof overhangs and entry areas need to be deeper to protect the structure from moisture and provide a larger area of shelter next to the walls. Large quantities of rain water must be handled by roof design and roof drainage systems. Rain catchment systems can help to reduce and conserve water use where applicable.


The same ocean that brings moisture to the coastal land mass also creates a milder climate, allowing a lifestyle with strong connections to the outdoors. Interior spaces are extended outwards through sliding, glass doors or fixed panes of glass, to terraces & decks, and gardens, opening the interior to views of the beautiful natural landscape. The giant trees of fir and cedar provide an ideal structural material; strong, easy to work, beautiful in colour, renewable, and warm to touch. At the same time, the forests provide inspiration for structural, water containment and dispersal systems, from micro to macro scale.

…it reflects the way
I relate to the world.

I feel connected with it

-Diana Li, Urban Oasis





Custom description here
Thank you. Message sent.
Oops. Please validate your fields.

Connect with RFA

Synergy: The special behaviours of whole systems

unpredictable by the behaviour of their parts.

Arc Cine


Arc Cine Post Card July 15 copy


Arc Cine combines three decades of architectural experience with a film and sound design studio. We collaborate with architects, designers, and builders to communicate their design intent, process, resulting forms, and emotions. We produce short films that document, inform, and celebrate the architectural process while reflecting the individuality of each project.

In the same way that an architect must consider the materials and structure for the implementation of a design, we utilizes production and post production workflows usually reserved for film, theatre, and broadcast applications. By integrating writing, production, cinematography, sound design, and music, our goal is to capture each project’s unique story and voice, creating an emotional connection with the viewer.

Contact Arc Cine