17th & Laurel

Architecture / Interiors: Kuno Architecture

Contractor: Pantheon Developments 

Structural: Ennova Structural Engineers

Envelope:  CSA Building Sciences Western 

Energy Consultant: Capture Energy

Code Consultant:  Celerity Engineering

Geotechnical:  Promatech

Elevator (Lift):  Garaventa



This is the project that started Kuno eight years ago.

Nestled in the vibrant Cambie Street neighbourhood of Vancouver, this modest single-family heritage home was fully reconfigured to become a triplex multi-family dwelling with accessibilility features integrated throughout.



The 110 year old structure was in the family for generations, but it no longer suited the family’s ever-shifting needs.

Kuno was asked to create three separate accessible living units, with elevator access to all floors. Each unit was to include two bedrooms, two bathrooms, side-by-side laundry and generous access to natural daylight and views.

Photos of people demonstrating washroom features in Kuno Architecture's accessible triplex project located at the corner of West 17th Avenue and Laurel Street in Vancouver.


Our deep-dive into accessible design began with research, observation, and an open mind. We read every book and blog post that we could find about accessible residential design, and we engaged with the people who would be living in the house to understand how we could make the compact spaces work. 

Floor plan drawings for Kuno Architecture's accessible triplex project located at the corner of West 17th Avenue and Laurel Street in Vancouver.


The final design involved lifting the existing heritage shell, expanding into the side yard and fully reconfiguring the interior spaces to accommodate an efficient and flexible layout at each level. Main living spaces were oriented to the south of the building to maximize exposure to sunlight, and all three floors were interconnected by a lift and common vestibules. Layouts worked to maximize storage and layout efficiency within the compact building footprint, while maintaining sufficient space for turning and maneuvering.



Lifting a heritage building is an exciting process that combines a respect for historical architecture with the enhancement of modern renovation, allowing for a radical transformation of the interior spaces and adapting them to contemporary (and accessible) living standards. The lift allowed for the construction of a new foundation and facilitated full headroom at the garden level.



Designing an accessible home for the first time entails numerous decisions, especially when deviating from "industry standard" in construction. We collaborated closely with the homeowner, the general contractor, and trades to create a home that was both functional, and aesthetically cohesive. We selected materials, interior finishes, fixtures and appliances that were of durable quality that also fit within the project budget.



All three units feature open kitchens with accessibility features, power-operated entry doors, and accessible washrooms with roll-in showers. The project carefully combines these accessibility enhancements within a modernized interior, while maintaining the heritage character of the building exterior. The elevator (lift) is discreetly situated under a roof dormer, preserving the original "look and feel" of the character home.



This project demonstrates how to add density to the city while preserving a heritage building. The home benefits the community by adding much-needed accessible housing options. The living units in this triplex enable people with disabilities, along with their family, friends, and caregivers, to live independently and maintain social connections in a vibrant part of the city.

Selected Works

17th and LaurelResidential

Ontario StreetResidential

Sophia StreetResidential

Interiors VancouverResidential