Big Brother Little Sister
The project: The residences – fashioned for a couple of empty nesters whose youngest child inhabits the laneway home – demonstrate that eco density can be green, affordable and well designed.
Maximum energy efficiency has been achieved through high-grade insulation, passive heating and cooling methods are employed, and the home is certified Built-Green TM Platinum. Furthermore, the main house was built on a tight Vancouver area budget of $550,000, while the laneway house cost a mere $150,000 and the landscaping (also by the architect) only $30,000.
Challenge: Setting a modern house in a neighbourhood of traditional arts and crafts style homes, of pitched roofs, dormers and gables.
Solution: The modernist grey-blue dwellings accented with bright orange, red and yellow bring a new modernist aesthetic to traditional ideas about what a single family neighbourhood can look like. Part urban cabin, part neighbourhood intervention, the 1,600-square-foot house and 400-square-foot laneway home, are intended to read like residential installation art.
Challenge: Many modern homes in Vancouver, are built like fortresses – completely cut off from the outside world.
Solution: We saw the corner lot project as a “gift of a site,” which celebrates the street with its ground oriented design.
Challenge: While the City of Vancouver touts itself as the greenest city in the world it is gun shy when it comes to water conservation.
Solution: The designer, successfully lobbied city hall to rewrite a bylaw that discouraged rainwater harvesting.
View from the intersection
The laneway house from the courtyard
The main house's really cool "boxed window".
Super cool kitchen.
Thermal mass wall for natural cooling.