The first-place winner in the City of Nelson’s laneway housing design competition. A full prospectus of each of the three winning designs is available online. See photos of the second- and third-place winners below. Architectural drawing submitted

Nelson announces laneway house design competition winners, invites votes for people’s choice award

Winning designs are pre-approved by the planning department and can be purchased from the city

Submitted by the City of Nelson

The City of Nelson is proud to announce the results of the 2019 laneway house design competition and invites all residents to look through the design proposals and cast their vote online for the People’s Choice award.

The competition was launched in June, 2019, and publicized across the country to solicit submissions of laneway house designs. To the city’s knowledge, this was the first competition of its kind in Canada. In the first open round of the competition, which closed in September, 29 entries were received from coast-to-coast, including nine submissions from West Kootenay-based entrants.

The submissions were subject to a blind review (without knowledge of who the entrants were) by a five-member expert design review panel. Five were invited to participate in the second round. At the end of January, the panel made its final award decisions.

The three winning designs will be made available to residents and pre-reviewed and pre-approved by the city, subject to foundation and siting adjustments in order to fit onto a given lot, to help homeowners with the process of realizing a laneway house on their property.

All winning entries will supply plans that accommodate flat and sloping sites alike.

In first place is the Kootenay Three-Step design, submitted by Tony Osborn Architecture + Design Inc. of Vancouver. The design provides variations ranging from 571 to 858 square-feet

The second-place winner, which also received the “eco-choice” designation from the design review panel, is entitled Nelson Peaks, submitted by Tyler Reynolds and Adrienne Gerrits, architectural interns in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It offers 850 square feet of living space. See photo below.

The third-place winner, which also received the “affordable choice” designation, is The Pica, designed by Carmen DiPasquale of SNT Engineering and Rod Taylor of Rod Taylor Design, both Nelson locals. The base design provides 400 square feet of living space, with options to add another 165 square-feet of building footprint plus a basement. See photo below.

The public is invited to get involved and evaluate these three designs by nominating one for the People’s Choice award. There is no cash prize associated with the award, but the winning design will benefit from this designation.

Voting takes place at from Feb. 6 until Feb. 21. A full prospectus of each design is available online.

“Nelson will benefit in many ways from the addition of more laneway houses in our community, and this competition does its part by promoting high-quality designs at accessible prices to homeowners,” says Mayor John Dooley. “I am confident the winning designs will inspire more homeowners to build laneway housing while keeping design costs reasonable.”

The City anticipates that pre-reviewed designs will be most popular among those who would otherwise design their own laneway house, without having to hire a professional or seek to purchase stock plans online. The objective is to provide easy access to high-quality designs and code-compliant plans that strike the right balance between affordable construction and ecologically-sound design. They are designed for Nelson, offering exceptional value-for-money for homeowners.

All submissions were evaluated according to five criteria: design, good home/ good neighbour, affordability, eco-design, and flexibility/ longevity.

The design review panel preferred designs that are useable, practical, buildable, and liveable, and of course, adaptable to various topographies and budgets. Each panel member individually commented on and scored each entry, which was followed by a lengthy discussion that reached a consensus.

The city is currently waiting on the winners to submit their full building plans for review and expects to be able to make the plans available for sale near the end of March. It is expected that council will decide on the final sale price of the pre-reviewed plans at its March regular meeting. An announcement will be made once the plans are finalized and available to the public. More details on the process of acquiring and using the plans will be made available at that time.

For more information on the competition, visit The Call for Submissions document provides all background information on the competition, competition rules, and profiles of the design review panel members.

Members of the public who would like to be kept up to date by email on the latest news on the competition and resulting designs can visit the link above to sign up for email updates.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


The second-place winner in the City of Nelson’s laneway housing design competition. Architectural drawing submitted

The third-place winner in the City of Nelson’s laneway housing design competition. Architectural drawing submitted

Just Posted

Nelson Leafs lose to Beaver Valley, will face Spokane in playoffs

Reid Wilson also finished the regular season third overall in scoring

Adapting to love along the Columbia River

One man starts a GoFundme to help his partner with health costs caused on the trip where they met

West Kootenay SPCA hopes you’ll have a heart for Cupid

Cat who tangled with a bobcat seeking a permanent home

Leafs, Nitehawks to decide division title Saturday

The regular season ends in Nelson with both teams tied on points

Nelson Nordic Ski Club fundraising for new groomer

The club’s current machine is beginning to break down

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Tyler Toffoli scores twice, Canucks crush Bruins 9-3

Stecher, Miller each add three points for Vancouver

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Eyes on police after Trudeau orders blockades torn down, injunctions enforced

The RCMP in B.C. have sent a letter to the traditional leaders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation

Most Read