Principles of feng shui incorporated into the design of Burnaby house
by Jane Vorbrodt
photo of Imu Chan of FSOARK by Jane Vorbrodt
Yuen Huang always knew he wanted to build his own home — a space to be enjoyed with wife Jia, three-year-old son Yii and his parents.
Such a home would also be a legacy to pass on to future generations.
Huang selected a site on a hilly area above Brentwood Mall in Burnaby, a quiet neighbourhood where his family had settled after arriving in Canada from Taiwan in 1978. The newly completed home now fits in easily with its neighbours — mainly well-maintained two-storey mid-century houses on wide lots — but it’s far from typical.
Painted a warm grey, it has a low metal roofline running horizontally across its face, a modern nod to traditional Asian architecture.
“When we were designing this house, we could have built a humongous big-box square with three floors,” Huang says. “But I said, don’t try to be the biggest and the baddest. You have to show some respect to the neighbourhood. Blend in, with class and quality.”
It’s clear from the outset that this is no ordinary home.
International influences informed design of split-level laneway house
by Jane Vorbrodt
photo of John O’Regan by Jane Vorbrodt
Tucked behind their 3,000-square-foot Shaughnessy heritage home, brothers and builders John and David O’Regan created a tiny house for their recently retired parents.
With some constraints — including a new garage on the site — they came up with a home measuring 585 square feet. What makes the residence feel more spacious, however, is its split-level layout.
“We spent a lot of time at city hall,” John says. “With all of the bylaws and regulations for laneway houses, the resulting floor plan was limited …
“We went with the split level to take advantage of the slope.”
When you walk in, you can see how the split level works. The main living area comprises a living room, dining area and kitchen. At the end of this space, a small flight of stairs leads to a bedroom. Almost like a tree house, it’s small but cosy, with enough space for a queen-sized bed and a bit of storage.