Small Spaces Photo Credit: Ihor Pona

Inside a Vancouver House that Makes Every Inch Count

This laneway house may be small, but its character is anything but.

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Laneway housing has been growing steadily in the past decade or so in Vancouver, as population grows and residential areas seem, somehow, to be shrinking. Smallworks Studio and Laneway Housing specializes in these backyard homes, which can provide much-needed extra space (or income) to growing families. “We felt that these laneway homes really provided the best-case scenario for municipal planning,” says Jake Fry, the founder of Smallworks and one of the advocates for the introduction of laneway housing in Vancouver.

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This home, located in Grandview-Woodland, is clean and modern while also creating architectural rapport with the older home with which it shares a property. According to Fry, “This neighbourhood has been under a lot of pressure for redevelopment.” Avoiding unnecessary redevelopment on heritage and character homes is one of the advantages of laneway housing, while also updating the atmosphere and making use of under-utilized space. This is what Smallworks has tried to accomplish with this home.

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Although it’s small, the space is designed to have lasting style and functionality. The architecture, landscaping and design have some traditional elements, such as light wood features and asymmetrical exterior design, which it draws from the original home on the property. It blends these with the more contemporary polished cement flooring and minimalist white colour scheme. “[It] speaks to a more modern west-coast vernacular,” says Fry. “The two homes have a lovely way in which they play off of each other, but also create a nice separation both visually and spatially on the property.”

To see more beautiful and functional homes like this one, get your tickets to the Vancouver Heritage Laneway House Tour October 22.

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