Coulee Crescent Neighbourhood
Concept design for Habitat for Humanity
This development was designed to ideally be located in a growing area, close to public arenas, schools, and a sports field. Access to endless pre-existing amenities would ensure that the neighbourhood become a vibrant, active community.
The neighbourhood would provide housing for 46 low income families through a variety of housing types. The entrance to the site would be marked with iconic semi-detached units, which would fit in with the scale of the neighbouring houses. Within the site, two rows of townhouses would look out onto the beautiful wetland park and trails. Finally, at the second entrance to the site, barrier-free units would make use of leftover parcels of land, with townhouses stacked above to maintain density.
The neighbourhood would also contain a small commercial property for a daycare, adjacent to the community garden and playground.
Five semi-detached units with the eye-catching landmarks denoting the entry to this vibrant community. The sharp angular form of these houses is a play on the familiar shed roof, with a crisp modern edge.
The asymmetrical designs can accommodate different sized families on either side, allowing for a complementary dynamic between households.
The more compact three-bedroom, two-level units are easily identified with black shiplap siding. Larger three-bedroom units, with lofts for future expansion of up to seven bedrooms, take advantage of the steep slope of the roof line to fit a third level above.
Access to the homes will be through a central courtyard deck. This allows for a natural break in the open plan between the living room areas and the kitchen/dining areas.
The expansion loft level will be roughed-in for plumbing and left unpartitioned, so that the original mortgage of the house is kept at a manageable cost upon receipt by the family, allowing for future renovation as the family sees fit.
A row of townhouses on either side of the street creates a sense of community and a lively streetfront. Making use of narrow lots and keeping unit footprints small helps to ensure that the street is overflowing with people and activity. Two-level townhouses are located on the southern side of the street, allowing sunlight to penetrate the site and maintain an inviting and vibrant atmosphere on the street. Three-level townhouses are situated on the north side of the street and look out over the two-level units into the beautiful wetland park beyond.
The townhouses are designed with a simple aesthetic, using their different functions to define their form. The main living space of each unit is pushed forward on the site, while staircases are pushed back to create small sheltered entries into each unit. Staircases are easily identified by black shiplap siding and act as ‘spacers’ between units, which allow a small division and a little extra privacy between the living spaces for each family.
The units bring forth their own character and personality with a small pop of colour on the front facade. Stoops and planters at the front of each unit bring families together at the street to interact while reading the paper or drinking coffee, allowing every small greeting or friendly gardening tip to help build a strong sense of community within this new neighbourhood.
Barrier-Free Units & Stacked Townhouses
The barrier-free units mark the secondary entry to the site from River Road, and they also mark the entrance to the beautiful trail system that winds its way over and through the scenic wetland park space, which is shared by the whole community.
Each barrier-free unit comprises the entire ground floor of two side-by-side townhouses. Two-level townhouses are stacked above these barrier-free units to maintain the density of the site. A variation on the standard townhouses, these buildings cleverly use their exterior form to reveal their interior units. White clad boxes for the two-level townhouses sit above grey clad bases, identifying the barrier-free unit below. Once again, black shiplap ‘spacers’ are used to create a small division between living spaces, ensuring that privacy is maintained. Two barrier-free townhouses are then faced towards each other, parallel to the street, making a small, intimate courtyard between the buildings. This design makes efficient use of narrow leftover parcels of land, away from wetland zones on the site. Stairs, entries and balconies are all located within this courtyard creating a perfect gathering place where all six families can come together to play, chat and grow together.