Architect Craig Race designs a highly functional laneway suite with accommodations for a homeowner and a lot of horsepower
The dichotomy often found in modern laneway suites – part garage and part living space, all in one tiny footprint – is disconcerting for some. Garages, with their aluminum doors and raw concrete walls, tend to be drafty. For one of Craig Race’s recent clients, a car and motorcycle lover, the architect figured out a way to prevent errant chills. Facing a St. Clair and Bathurst–area laneway, the standard garage door was swapped out for a fully insulated wall, albeit one on a hydraulic lift to hoist the now-heavier assemblage. There is also extra insulation in the ceiling, and the whole assembly was sealed to prevent noxious fumes from floating up to the two bedrooms and living area on the second level.
Beyond the functionality, Race imbued the garage with a surprising sense of elegance. “The homeowner asked for a gallery-like setting for displaying the cars,” says Race. “He wanted it to feel like an extension of his living space.” From the backyard, double-pane glass panels not only provide views into the garage, but fold away to put the cars on full display. “It will also work well if the homeowner or someone else wants to convert the garage into a living room one day,” says Race. “It already has a nice connection to the yard.”
Upstairs, the laneway suite walls are kept art-gallery white, in part to make the 65-square-metre living space feel more capacious, and to highlight one of the homeowner’s prized possessions: an Italian motorcycle, which he displays inside like a statue. LANESCAPE.CA
Looking for more laneway homes? Check out our round-up of some of the city’s best here.