In light of Vancouver’s housing crisis, local architectural firm Haeccity Studio Architecture has transformed a 1950s bungalow in the city’s West End neighborhood into Comox Infill, a contemporary multi-family development with six dedicated rental units. Described by the firm as the “missing” piece from Vancouver’s urban fabric, this small-scale multi-family project is a case study for much-needed densification that doesn’t compromise on livability. Sandwiched between two heritage properties, the modern infill project thoughtfully references its traditional neighbors while considering key issues including walkability, car sharing, accessibility and aging in place.

aerial view of narrow gray building in a city

Located on a standard 33-foot-by-122-foot single-family lot in downtown Vancouver, Comox Infill is a three-story walk-up that includes six dedicated rental units for tenancy, a green roof and a shared courtyard with a preserved, mature Cypress tree. The decidedly contemporary development relates to its urban context through its sloped roof, separate exterior dwelling entrances and human-scaled circulation.

person walking dog beside a tree and gray building

gray building with a few trees surrounded by larger buildings

“Not quite a single-family home, and yet not a soaring condo tower, the missing middle typology offers something in between,” explained the firm. “In rethinking the possibilities for urban dwelling, it’s a solution that calls for incremental densification without drastically disrupting the character and community of existing neighborhoods. Comox Street embodies the desirable qualities of a missing middle typology, including walkable urban living, accessibility to a middle-income household and housing diversity, which are all essential to the continued fostering of a city’s social and cultural vibrancy.”

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bright kitchen with wood floors and white cabinets

On the left, bathroom with white walls and tan cabinet. On the right, dog walking through a hallway.

The Comox Infill consists of six rental suites of varying sizes. The ground level comprises a one-bedroom suite facing Comox Street, courtyard access, service rooms, bicycle storage and a two-bedroom suite in the rear that opens up to the lane. Above are a one-bedroom suite, a double-story two-bedroom suite and a double-story three-bedroom suite; all units overlook a long green roof. The third level includes an additional one-bedroom suite while the double-story units enjoy access to a shared rooftop courtyard.

+ Haeccity Studio Architecture

Images via Haeccity Studio Architecture

person sitting on rooftop deck with dog