The intent of Vancouver’s Laneway House pilot project is to add rental  residences to Vancouver that help make  home-ownership more affordable while maintaining the existing character and fabric of the neighbourhoods. However, the pervasive ‘Vancouver Special’ house typology poses unique challenges. Predating contemporary zoning regulations, these existing homes encroach into the rear yards required by current zoning bylaws and often exceed size, and site-coverage limits.

This small 500 sqft lane home demonstrates how a dignified and comfortable small home can be created on a property with an existing  non-conforming character homes.

Due to the small back yard, windows and doors are carefully designed and proportioned to provide directed views, natural light and visual privacy. Landscape design is critical to the success of small spaces and to maintaining an enjoyable and functional garden for both the house and the laneway house while allowing interior spaces to extend into the gardens during the summer season.

Careful design results in a space that is small yet practical, with virtually no waste and ample space for living and storage. Simple lines contribute to a home that is energy-efficient and  simple to construct.

Client: Private
Location: Vancouver, BC
Year: In design, 2011
Architect: Mark Ashby Architecture
Landscape: Kate Stefiuk
Project Team: Pablo Leppe, IA