Completed in 2016 with 640 ft² in size, Point Grey Laneway is a re-imagination of the traditional colonial style laneways in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Known as Miko Laneway, it is also proposed by the City of Vancouver’s Laneway program into form-based and also respectful of the Japanese Canadians that have lived in Vancouver for generations. It provides affordable rental housing through soft density designed by Campos Studio.
Campos Studio works together with Vancouver design firm Campos Studio and Blue Design in this project, The main program is to provide affordable rental housing through soft density, completed with the garages, carports, and services. The original planners of this project intend to keep this rental housing away from the green streets of the City’s leafy residential neighborhoods.
The guidelines for this project also focuses on the form of production that replicates the predominant craftsman revival form of the city. 940 square feet is a maximum size that is allowed by Laneways though due to Vancouver’s lot sizes the majority is 640 square feet. The most important goal in this project is how to make minimal space a truly liveable environment with this kind of restriction.
It is a project that embraces the ideas of contrasting elements making a whole and the family’s Japanese heritage, creating imperfection and variation instead of detracting from the beauty and nature of materials. It eschews symmetrical compositions in favor of asymmetry and balance and also pursues a dialogue with its context.
The form of the building is designed in clad and asymmetric, in hand-stained split face shakes and metal. These shakes are chosen for the individuality with heavy texturing while the hand staining can ensure imperfection and variation. The dark color has an assertive contrast to the pale blue skies and cloud grey, providing a backdrop to the striking blossoms of the mature plum tree. This dark color also in contrast to the warm white interior.
The interior is foreshadowed in the soffits and cut-outs, lined with custom-sized cedar boards hand-tinted with a translucent white stain. It is also defined by the contrast between the white interiors and the dark-tinted concrete floors. Structured by wood elements clad in the white stained siding material, the white interiors can define the imperfection and also stand in contrast to the industrial smooth surfaces.
This project embraces the Japanese traditions of the family. It is served through the sensitive modern response creation that contributes to the transition of Vancouver’s laneways from secondary service spaces to liveable streets and facilitates multi-generational living.
Point Grey Laneway Gallery
Photographer: Ema Peter