This laneway house for a young couple is a combined garage and backyard suite in Crescent Heights, a well-established historical neighbourhood in Calgary, Alberta. The house shares a site with a modest bungalow on a very small lot that is accessed on the side by a lane.  The fabric surrounding the site is a mix of century-old bungalows and larger urban infills with varying degrees of sensitivity to the older existing context.

The house balances the necessity to be respectful of the size of the lot and the adjacent bungalow with the desires of the clients for a spacious and open living area.  Efficiencies in terms of size are gained by minimizing the height of the spaces adjacent to other parcels and the lane and by arranging the more private programmatic elements of the living space in an atypical manner.  With a formal nod to local vernacular prairie architecture, the roof echoes the lines of surrounding houses, allowing for a soaring ceiling in the main living space with clerestory windows that bring in indirect north light. Selectively exposed structure on the interior rhythmically divides openings in the facade while hinting at the building’s wood-framed tectonic. A second-storey garden that takes advantage of the roof slope and drainage above is the result of the creative interpretation of local land use bylaws.

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