Are Giant Gazebo Homes coming to Vancouver backyards?

Would you want to live in a Megazebo?

Laneway houses – small, detached homes plopped down in the backyard – have become all the rage in Vancouver in recent years. Now, an inventor and designer is adding a new architectural twist to the mix: an oversized, two-bedroom gazebo.

The Megazebo is a prefabricated, octagonal home – an eight-sided, 1,000-square-foot steel structure that can be partitioned off into multiple rooms, according to an article by Shelley Fralic in the Vancouver Sun.  Construction costs are around $50,000, and it can be accessorized with a ceramic tile roof, wraparound summer sun screen and even a miniature wind turbine for generating electricity.

The result is an oversized, space-age looking gazebo.  And while none of these Megazebos have actually been built in Vancouver, you may be seeing some soon if creator Denis Braun has his way.  An entrepreneur and designer, Braun is looking for a Vancouver homeowner to host the city’s first Megazebo.  And he’ll even pay for its construction.

According to a unique ad that Braun posted on Kijiji, he’s willing to provide a free Megazebo to any homeowner who’ll provide the land and concrete foundation needed, plus pay the taxes.  But there’s also some significant fine print.

72-year-old Braun – who splits his time between Calgary, Asia and Vancouver – plans to live in the structure for three months out of the year.  During the remainder of the year, the Megazebo is to be rented out, with proceeds split between him and the homeowner. Finally – in a somewhat morbid twist – when Braun dies, the Megazebo will be bequeathed to the homeowner in its entirety, no strings attached.

Other potential uses that Braun has proposed for the lightweight, pre-fab structures include everything from private surgery clinics to club houses, prayer kiosks and even private (and apparently small) resorts.

Significant legal hurdles remain before a Braun’s unique shelters could actually be erected in Vancouver.  But, considering that the city has some of Canada’s highest real estate prices and detached housing is in desperately short supply, Megazebos might just be coming soon to a backyard near you.

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