simple modernish : 1315 lakewood drive

designed by : brodie gunn of gallery homes

built by : gallery homes in 2015

short blurb on the house by the realtor:

a spectacular scandinavian inspired city home in a desirable traffic calmed neighbourhood. beautifully finished with the finest of quality and detail, this european built one year old residence features a fabulous open floor plan with 10ft ceilings opening to large sun drenched west facing patio in manicured private yard. three bedrooms on upper level make this a perfect family home. top floor offers a roof deck and views!! steps to lord nelson elementary which will be brand new in 2018. features include: a/c, radiant heat, custom millwork, alarm, security cameras, speakers & vaulted ceilings. don’t let the compact size deter you, this home has been expertly designed to feel and live twice its size.

kitchen and living room area is 2 steps down from front entry and dining room

flush floor in shower and minimal glass installation

open space at top of stairs acts as tv room

dan white modern : 1919 west 57th avenue

designed by : daniel evan white

built by : ? in 1991 [2013-listed for 8.88mil, 2017-listed again for 17.8mil] huh? assessed at 8.4mil

a short write-up on the house by the realtors:

welcome to this “one of a kind” concrete mansion designed and built by renowned architect dan white, situated in prime south granville area. exquisite contemporary high-end designed and crafted with luxurious finishings all in this concrete-reinforce construction. this non-replaceable 4 level house features over 12,000 sqft of living space, with 25ft high ceiling grand opened entrance, elevator, 9 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, 45′ x 23′ indoor swimming pool, grand gourmet kitchen with huge wok-kitchen, steam & sauna room, 1255 sqft. master suite on 4th level, 6 car underground parking, chipping putting and sand bunker golf area and more. if you are someone special you will appreciate something special.

DRKdesign : 959 west 18th avenue

959 west 18th avenue - front of house

view of house from street – photo by pixilink solutions

designed by : DRKdesign

built by : marman developments in 2015 [listed for 2.23mil]

959 west 18th avenue - kitchen

view of kitchen towards living space beyond – photo by pixilink solutions

here is the realtor’s take on one of these modern homes : (check out the listing here and pixilink tour here)

modern living at its finest in desirable douglas park! open layout with 10 ft ceiling on main, tons of natural light from oversized windows and glass panelled interior doors, custom millwork featuring whitewashed maple and cherry, imported Italian tiles, premium kitchen appliances including double drawer dishwasher. three bedrooms above, mountain view from master. basement legal suite with option as 1 or 2 bedrooms. downtown, trendy main st, queen elizabeth park, granville island, you’ll be in the middle of it all from this stunning new home.

959 west 18th avenue - living room

living space with fireplace hearth that doubles as a bench and custom millwork – photo by pixilink solutions

959 west 18th avenue - view from main floor deck

deck extends the full width of the house at the back yard – photo by pixilink solutions

959 west 18th avenue - ensuite

ensuite bathroom has lots of natural light due to large north-facing window – photo by pixilink solutions

959 west 18th avenue - suite kitchen

basement suite features full kitchen – photo by pixilink solutions

959 west 18th avenue - suite living space

basement suite open living-dining-kitchen space with sunken patio – photo by pixilink solutions

959 west 18th avenue - back of homes

the back of the houses have obscure glass at balconies and decks for increased privacy – photo by pixilink solutions

look forward to another post with professional photos of both houses and a more architectural point of view of this project.

news : laneway houses for all (almost…)

well, looks like laneway houses are not going anywhere. the city of vancouver has just announced changes to their laneway housing policies.

check out the booklet published by the city of vancouver here.

The city has announced that, later this spring, city staff will report to city council with proposed amendments to the program and guidelines to expand the program to other single-family zoned areas.

According to the city, proposed amendments will seek to:

  • encourage the development of more one-storey laneway houses, which has less impact on neighbours and is more accessible to aging populations and families with small children;
  • make laneway housing more liveable by allowing more floor area for living and storage space, without increasing the size of the house; and
  • allow a faster permit process for one-storey laneway houses and ensure the provision of one-site parking.

According to the city, the laneway housing program will be expanded into the following new zones: RS-1A, RS-1B, RS-3/3A, RS-4, RS-6 and RS-7.

here is the official newsletter:

Changes are coming to the laneway housing program
February 22 2013

Changes are coming to the laneway housing program.  Later this spring, staff will report to City Council with proposed amendments to the LWH regulations and guidelines and to expand the program to other single family zoned neighbourhoods.

Proposed amendments
We have been monitoring laneway housing development and have identified key issues related to neighbourliness, livability, permit processing and the provision of parking.  Proposed amendments to the program will respond to these issues by:
Encouraging the development of more one storey laneway housing, which have less impact on neighbours and are more accessible for an aging population and families with small children
Making laneway housing more livable by allowing more floor area for living and storage space without increasing the size of the house
Allowing a faster permit process for one storey laneway houses, and ensuring the provision of on-site parking.
In addition to the improvements to the current regulations and guidelines, the laneway housing program will be expanded into the other RS zones of RS-1A, RS-1B, RS-3/3A, RS-4, RS-6 and RS-7.

The history of laneway houses in Vancouver
Since 2009, when the laneway housing program was adopted, over 800 permits for laneway houses have been issued and over 500 laneway houses have now been built across the city in the single family RS-1 and RS-5 zones (which make up 94% of single family lots in the city).
The laneway housing program plays an important role in achieving Council’s priorities to increase the supply of rental housing options across the city.  Laneway housing adds to the diversity of rental units in single family neighbourhoods by providing:
An additional rental opportunity and housing choice beyond owning a house or renting a basement suite and more opportunity to live in detached and ground-oriented rental housing
Additional housing while preserving the existing streetscape and adding character, vibrancy and security to the lane
Housing for diverse groups of people including: seniors ready to downsize and live close to family but independently; adult children who want to live independently but cannot afford home ownership; and renters who want to live in established neighbourhoods in detached housing.

so if you have been feeling left out (not living in RS-1 or RS-5 zone) and wanting to build a laneway house, looks like now will be your chance.


DRKdesign is familiar with laneway housing criteria, so give david a call at 604 928 6036 or check out

oh, and be sure to check out the laneway housing talk hosted by emerging green builders, taking place on march 20th at hive. here is the link to the eventbrite signup page.

competition : cascade passivhaus – 100 mile house open ideas competition

a brief introduction to the 100 mile house design competition:

the architecture foundation of bc promotes big ideas that recognize sustainable design, architectural merit and innovation in order to advance the knowledge and practice of the design of sustainable buildings in british columbia.

the afbc invites the participants of this competition to explore, rethink, question and experiment with new ideas that will challenge the concept of the regional house and the way we live.

historically, most houses were constructed as ’100 mile’ houses from caves, sod houses, log cabins and stone houses to the first nations’ indigenous cedar houses, tepees and igloos. people worldwide used whatever available materials were at hand to build shelters for themselves and their families. but is this possible in a modern 21st century city like vancouver?

this competition will challenge all participants to rethink the way we live and select materials, systems and technology that reflect this reality in the world of computers, the internet, facebook, etc…  participants are encouraged to challenge the logic of the present, formulate new questions, and explore variations that will allow new potentials for living.

geographically, we have selected the city of vancouver to be the focus of the competition for the ’100 mile house’. participants are challenged to design a house to accommodate 4 people with a maximum area of 1200 square feet (111 m2) using only materials and systems made/ manufactured / recycled within 100 miles of the city of vancouver. a hypothetical flat, corner site of 33′ x 120′ (10.0 m x 36.6 m) will be used for the context. all city services (water, sewer, storm drain, natural gas and electricity) are available to the property line should the entrant choose to use them.

affordability, while important, is not the focus of this competition. competitors are free to propose any alternatives but the concept of the 100 mile house should equally apply to luxury finishes and products. being environmentally conscious is not always dictated by cost.

similarly, zoning and building bylaws of the city of vancouver are important criteria in reality but again are not the focus of the competition. competitors are not expected to know the bylaws and building codes of a specific area but general construction practice should be demonstrated. the applicability of the solutions to other jurisdictions will be important regardless of minor variances in building codes. it is hoped that necessity, as the mother of invention, will foster/ create prototypes that could be modified and the ideas exported to any geographic area. all submissions should demonstrate the integration of local social, technological, economic and aesthetic sustainability into the final solutions.

this is a global competition. architects, designers, artists, students and other environmentally conscious creators from around the world are encouraged to submit their ideas.


description of cascade passivhaus:

the cascade passivhaus is a 1200 sq.ft. home designed for a family of four. the ground floor comprises of a living space, dining room, kitchen and master bedroom with ensuite. the upper floor contains two bedrooms, a bathroom and a playroom in the center. the playroom opens onto a south-facing sundeck for private use. An exterior staircase along the north side allows access to the roof deck. the decks are protected with high-albedo waterproofing and decking for summer use or can be finished with an intensive green roof to further reduce storm water run-off and heat island effect.

in designing, the focus was to eliminate any unnecessary items that can be mitigated by natural alternatives, such as ventilation that is provided naturally by opening window/doors; heating harnessed by the sun; and lighting by the use of solar-powered led-s. the ground floor is raised and supported on individual concrete pillars to reduce the amount of concrete used (typically with footing & foundation wall systems). the open space under the house allows for air movement, as well as, a reflecting pool/water feature on the west side of the house acts as a cooling agent. rainwater is harvested and stored under the house; once filtered, it can be used in all non-potable plumbing fixtures (clothes washing, dishwasher, shower) and landscape irrigation. using materials from the existing deconstructed house and reclaimed hydro poles which will provide the necessary structural frame for the house. In keeping energy-efficient, it will be built with passivhaus building standards.

now that the competition is over, this design is available for further design. if you are interested in learning more about this project, please contact david kominek of drkdesign at 604.928.6036.