top of page

How the Vancouver Special, once described as bland, holds a key to solving B.C.'s housing crisis

In the 1960s, Vancouver was experiencing a boom in immigration. Housing in the city was running out and people needed homes, fast.

To meet that demand, a specific housing design became so popular that thousands of them were built over the following years.

And I think we can learn something from that design as we try to find solutions to the housing crisis in British Columbia — and cities across Canada — today.

How to hide a first floor

Larry Cudney, a local draftsman, created a design for a house that would eventually be known as the Vancouver Special.

Its key feature is a low-pitched roof, which, compared to steeper roofs, required fewer materials — and was therefore cheaper to build.

But the Vancouver Special wasn't just cheap: its first floor also exploited a loophole, allowing it to be larger than other homes.

In the 1960s, if you wanted to construct a house, there were limitations to how much square footage the first floor could occupy.

But basements were not included in that calculation, and Cudney took advantage of this by building his first floor 18 inches below the ground — just enough for it to qualify as a 'basement.'

Read the article HERE

6 views0 comments
Recent Posts
Quick links
bottom of page