3rd PRIZE AWARD
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.