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Dense residential architecture garden courtyard
Section perspective dense housing and courtyard
missig middle housing competition work live street view
single family house neighborhood transformed with horizontal density
massing high density walk-up architecture Vancouver

MISSING MIDDLE

OPEN COMPETITION

3rd PRIZE AWARD

2018

CLIENT: Urbanarium, Vancouver BC

“This submission probed the upper density limits of walk-ups around courtyards; encouraging live-work along walkways; foregoing personal vehicle requirements in favor of a modest shared fleet; and transferring some of the accrued land-gains from higher density into a neighborhood park.”  

           -Competition Press Relase

The program brief invited competitors to focus on 4 blocks of a traditional single-family dwelling neighborhood not far from Vancouver's downtown.  Asked to consider 2 adjacents lots for re-development under more progressive urban zoning, the goals of the competition were to achieve increased density, affordability, social integration, and sustainability.

As Vancouver - and this neighborhood - is well-served by both land and rapid transit, the premise of this solution is the virtual elimination of the personal car; focusing instead on, successively, a project-by-project managed fleet of cars, and later, a managed neighborhood fleet of collective cars.  Streets were narrowed to relieve the sites of car storage; and each small fleet is simply parked among trees and planter, perpendicular to curb and sidewalk.

A second principal premise of this submittal was to push the traditional walk-up to its maximum capacity within a garden environment, resulting in units that, by code, can be no higher than 2 stories, most leveraging a mezzanine to increase the unit area.  The approach for this neighborhood, (which has the unique features of a reversal in block orientation/address; and a year-round prevalence of east-west breezes), is to combine courtyard housing and a townhouse/row-house typology, both being permeable to the east-west breezes.   

Combining these approaches with modest, (but not micro) units, the master plan achieves a respectably urban unit density of 40 dwelling units per acre.

High density walk-up architecture floor plan
missing middle master plan vancouver