How did Calgary, a city whose population density rivals that of Ulaanbaatar, come up with the infill? The engineering and design feat, wherein a single-family home on a standard 50-foot lot gives way to two freestanding homes on their own 25-foot lots, seems like it should be the purview of packed Kitsilano, not rolling Marda Loop. Perhaps it takes a Prairie ingenuity to make it work (coupled with a Prairie sense of wanting a freestanding abode), but the form is now ubiquitous throughout inner-city Calgary—a few were even spotted in Edmonton’s tony Glenora a few years back. Credit goes to the dreamers—from a young Jeremy Sturgess (see #12) to Chris Lemke of Alloy Homes—who reimagined what a single-family house could be, in the unlikeliest of spots.

Jack Bryan/Western Living June 1982
Credit: Jack Bryan/Western Living June 1982

Architect Jeremy Sturgess designed this infill called the Schafer House, featured in our June 1982 issue.

Jack Bryan/Western Living June 1982
Credit: Jack Bryan/Western Living June 1982

While individual rooms were small, the space soared in the centre: a colonnade supported the second floor, keeping the space feeling airy.

To read about more great people, designs, homes and innovations that shaped Western Living, click here.