Friday, September 5, 2014

Contemporary in the Capital

At the end of the 1970s and in to the early 1980s a limited number of small enclaves with contemporary-style houses were built in Ottawa. These houses are characterized by dramatic angular roof lines, vaulted ceilings, sunken rooms, large windows and wood accents on the facades. Some of these were even designed as solar houses.

Below is a sampling of some of the plans in these enclaves from this time. Although they were built after the mid-century modern period, the layouts and design details are a continuation of the key thinking in architecture from that time period.
The first series of plans were built by Urbandale Construction in Riverside Park/Mooney's Bay and the Amberwood area of Stittsville. They also offered the designs for sale in Rothwell Heights, although it does not appear that any were actually built there. Some of these designs have large windows to capture solar energy from the sun.

There are a few version of the "Two" plan:




There are a few versions of the "Four" plan as well:



I do not have the elevation drawing for the "Ten" plan:
The next group of plans were built on Quesnel Drive, just off of Riverside Drive in the  Revelstoke/Mooney's Bay area.

A company called Ecodomus offered the following designs in the Amberwood area of Stittsville. One of the price sheets I have also mentions a site in Barrhaven, although I do not know where it is.

I always wondered why the popularity of solar houses waned...

Monday, July 14, 2014

The don't built 'em like this anymore!

In the 1960s and early 1970s Minto built a series of large sprawling houses, on large parcels of land - especially compared to suburban lot sizes today. These houses were built in various parts of the city in communities formerly on the edge of built-up Ottawa. Today they are inner suburbs that offer proximity to downtown as well as houses that spread out over the generous land they were built on. Some are decidedly modern in style, while others are more traditional. 

Areas where these designs were built include Skyline, Skyline North, Graham Park, Qualicum, Ryan Farm, Beaconwood and Beacon Hill North. Below is a sampling of just some of these houses.

The ranch houses from this series of plans are sprawling and have modern asymmetrical facades. All three of these plans won a Canadian Housing Design Council award

Unfortunately, I do not have the exterior elevation drawing for this plan

This high-ranch design was especially suited for hilly locations to facilitate the lower-level garage:

The Canterbury and Marlborough plans are virtually identical, although the kitchen and bathroom layouts are slightly different.

The exterior drawings for the two-storey designs accentuate the horizontal nature of the houses. Notice how the second floor is usually stepped back from the first, allowing for a first-floor roof line to cut the two storey massing horizontally. Some of the two-storey plans also have the second floor tucked under a sloped roof, further accentuating the sprawling horizontal look of the houses.  

As far as I understand, the "Heritage" designs were built in Graham Park and Qualicum, and were often similar to the designs built elsewhere.

I am missing the Heritage Model "E" plan. If anyone has it, I would love to see it an post it for others to enjoy!

The following two bungalow designs have remarkably large dining rooms.
Unfortunately, I do not have the exterior elevation drawing for this plan

Unfortunately, I do not have the exterior elevation drawing for this plan

Unfortunately, I do not have the exterior elevation drawing for this plan