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FormShift Vancouver
Vancouver BC


Not crazy about change? Like your neighourhood the way it is? Our proposal increases Vancouver's density, but completely hides it. You earn rental income. And your dinner guests can still find parking in front of your house.

Laneway housing is a timid approach to densification. At best it will add a single dwelling for 1-2 people. Our stealth approach to densification provides 4 dwelling units, housing up to 9 people. Added to the family of 4 that live in the existing house, courtyard dwellings could triple the population in Vancouver's RS zones, invisibly. Until all citizens take transit or ride a bike, and while the City of Vancouver's parking requirements continue to be out of sync with the EcoDensity Charter and a market economy, our proposal provides 6 parking spaces in a structure that visibly conforms to current building bylaws.

Currently, the 60% of a typical lot that cannot be covered with a house or a parking structure is an untapped resource in all of Vancouver's RS zoned neighbourhoods. Our proposal fully excavates this until-now undeveloped space, leaving the existing house and garage as-is, then fills the void with 4 different units, ranging from a studio for a single student to a spacious 2 bedroom for a young family. The dwelling units are then concealed with a lid of lawn, punctuated with light slots and courtyards in the most unused corners of the yard.

Airy courtyards create private outdoor spaces for each new dwelling unit. Natural light pours into the suites from frosted glass skylights and courtyard openings, maintaining privacy for those above and below the lid. The residents of the existing house carry on hot-tubbing, barbequing and mowing the lawn above. By locating the entrance to each unit at the corners of the lot, privacy is maintained for the residents of the existing house; they don't have to share their yard with anyone. As you were.