A Vancouver House Connects a Family

Generations come together in a pair of homes on a single property in Vancouver.

With an eye to making the home eco-friendly, both structures were built of prefabricated cross-laminated timber, while large openings, like the sliders in the kitchen, promote cross-ventilation.

Snow-capped mountains, water views, urban art and culture, ridiculously nice people—the very things that make Vancouver a desirable place to live have also created a housing crunch. In response, city leaders have enacted strategies aimed at increasing density, such as allowing residents to build laneway houses—small backyard abodes that open onto the narrow lanes that run between city blocks.

Karen and Stephen Dadson asked their son, Leland Dadson, and his wife, Yvonne Popovska, cofounders of DPo Architecture, to create a new home for them and a smaller, separate one on the same site for their daughter. Textile artwork by Karen hangs near the main house’s floating stair. The treads were milled from a log that was salvaged by Stephen.

Karen and Stephen Dadson asked their son, Leland Dadson, and his wife, Yvonne Popovska, cofounders of DPo Architecture, to create a new home for them and a smaller, separate one on the same site for their daughter. Textile artwork by Karen hangs near the main house’s floating stair. The treads were milled from a log that was salvaged by Stephen.

Photo by Grant Harder

So when Stephen and Karen Dadson decided to downsize, seeking a lighter environmental footprint as well as separate accommodations for their daughter, Rebecca, and her two young girls, a primary home with a laneway house seemed like the perfect arrangement. “We liked the European idea of the multigenerational family being a unit,” says Karen, 70, a retired teacher and artist whose work hangs throughout the house. “But at the same time, we all value our privacy.”

Glass and weathering steel make up the front facade.

Glass and weathering steel make up the front facade.

Photo by Grant Harder

Once they found their ideal lot on a hill in the leafy Dunbar neighborhood, looking over the water and out to Grouse Mountain, Lions Gate Bridge, and the Coast Mountains beyond, the couple turned to the same architect who had built their last home, their son, Leland Dadson. He was joined on the project by Yvonne Popovska, his wife and cofounder of Toronto-based DPo Architecture.

With an eye to making the home eco-friendly, both structures were built of prefabricated cross-laminated timber, while large openings, like the sliders in the kitchen, promote cross-ventilation.

With an eye to making the home eco-friendly, both structures were built of prefabricated cross-laminated timber, while large openings, like the sliders in the kitchen, promote cross-ventilation.

Photo by Grant Harder

See the full story on Dwell.com: A Vancouver House Connects a Family

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