A live/work laneway house for a graphic artist | Lanefab
The owner’s personality shines through in this Vancouver laneway house. A freelance graphic artist, she asked Lanefab Design/Build to design a small house that would be both her home and her workplace. Small bursts of color plus authentic materials enliven the clean-lined modern dwelling.
The 760 ft2 (70.6 m2) laneway house has a split-level floor plan. One side is an open living space while the other side has an office loft and adjacent roof deck stacked over the bedroom and bathroom.
A high vaulted ceiling rises up from the living area and over the loft, creating a feeling of expansive openness. Light spills down from the loft’s clerestory windows, but the half-wall railing blocks any view of the actual workspace from the living area.
Lanefab designed and built the live-edge dining table on casters. When it isn’t needed for large dinner parties, it tucks partly under the kitchen counter, providing an additional prep surface.
The concrete floors appear to have been given good power troweling before being coated with sealer, an attractive finish that is much less expensive than grinding and polishing. Apparently the longer the concrete is troweled, the more mottled and “swirly” the result will be. The feature wall of reclaimed lumber adds some rough texture to contrast the smooth floors and other finishes.
The bedroom and bathroom were dug several feet into the ground to keep the structure within the 5.8 m (19′) height limit. The bedroom contains an abundance of clothes and linen storage; one wall is devoted to closets while another is lined with drawers.
The drawers are actually recessed into the crawlspace beneath the living room. Because the crawlspace is less than 1.2 m (4′) high, neither the drawers nor the rest of the crawlspace storage counted towards the home’s square footage.
The yard space between the laneway house and the main dwelling was designed as a shared courtyard with patio areas, planters and a “rain garden”, a planted area that collects and absorbs the runoff from the roofs. The retaining wall is made from gabions, wire cages filled with rocks.
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