The New “Vancouver Special”

The New “Vancouver Special”
Peter Raab

This Vancouver Special renovation proves there is hope yet for this tired, boxy, uninspired design. D’Arcy Jones Architecture was hired to renovate a “Vancouver Special”, and although requiring a major upgrade, the roof, walls and framing are all original. This was both an environmentally friendly and labour-strategic move, but the home still experienced major upgrades.

Most “Vancouver Specials” are designed with the bedrooms on the bottom floor and kitchen/living space on the top. D’Arcy Jones flipped the plan by moving shared spaces downstairs, creating 4 rooms on the top floor. They also emphasized natural light; one of the common complaints about Specials is that they are dark in the middle. By adding skylights and open stairs they were able to bring more light into the middle of the home.

The outdoor living space was also maximized by creating a smaller carport off the lane to utilize the yard as a yard (and not for parking). They created a courtyard and garden area with the extra space.

We hope this utilitarian design will see a renaissance through inspired design and reinvention. For more see The Huffington Post.