A Modern Multiunit Prefab Prototype in Vancouver

A Vancouver architect maxes out a commercial lot to create a multiunit prefab tower that takes smart urban planning as seriously as good design.
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Oliver Lang has always been something of a renegade. The German-born architect never settled into the idea of the high-rise condo nor of the conventional, detached single-family home—even after moving to Vancouver, a city that’s currently rich in both forms. Instead, Lang would rather look a few decades back to the innovators of mid-century design for guidance. "Modernism on the West Coast has always been about the relationship of architecture to landscape," he says. Fifty years ago, that relationship took the form of post-and-beam single-family homes on treed lots—a rapidly vanishing option in a city like Vancouver, with its high land prices and need for densification. "If we still want to work within this paradigm, why not apply it to something more vertical, like stacked houses?"

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