Although originally intended as a manifestation of Vancouver’s Eco-Density initiative, Laneway houses have many uses beyond adding urban density.

One of my favourites is what I like to call the Failure to Launch Pad. The Laneway house can become a great semi-autonomous home for your recent college graduate who is struggling to find space, identity, and privacy.  It is a perfect solution in many ways because the occupants are still close to home but have sufficient distance to at least feel independant.  As we know many young 20 somethings are returning from sucessful university careers to a very challenging job market. When you have been on your own for 4 years or longer, coming home can be a bit of a rude shock. Parents still see their children as a little boy or girl and treat them accordingly. This, coupled with the fact that many returning students regress, can be a nasty cocktail of resentment and dependance frustrating for parents and children alike. The Laneway house or the FTLP provides a successful compromise with private access such that nocturnal comings and goings disturb no one – i.e. you can each have a life.  The reciprocal advantages are that your aging parents will often want you nearby so a good symbiosis can evolve from this close, but not too close, proximity. It can even provide  a viable office/studio/cottage industry opporunity for the occupant, helping them to atain the means for a full and successful launch into full independence.

Demographic studies have shown there is a return to the traditional model of the multi-generational family.

This is just one of many great uses for laneway houses. Stay tuned to find out the others.