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

Provincial search and rescue award a surprise for Kaslo’s Don Hunt

Hunt is one of six recipients of the Public Safety Lifeline volunteer awards

Woman who assaulted downtown Nelson business owner sentenced

Nicole Brown was found guilty of assaulting Linda Randall during an attempted shoplift in 2017

RDCK reduces number of properties under evacuation alert from Talbott Creek Fire to 46

Improved visibility has allowed helicopters to resume water suppression efforts on fire

Art as reconciliation: Ymir artist hosting BC Culture Days event

Damian John will lead a workshop titled Exploring Reconciliation Through Creativity

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

16 COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health region

One person is in hospital and 34 people are isolating

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

Most Read