Sunday, May 17, 2015

Martini Pit!

OK, so this is not actually in Ottawa, but I just had to share this! In the past I published a post on conversation pits in 1970s housing design: The Conversation Pit. I was just perusing through some old articles I had on my favourite tract house architect, the late Barry Berkus, and I happened upon this article from the May 1969 issue of House & Home magazine. One of Berkus's designs in Valencia Hills California has a "fenced martini pit". I love how it is specifically a "martini pit", but also the fact that it is fenced - presumably to keep martini drinkers in the pit and not free to wander around the house!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Mid-Century Modern semi-detached houses in Parkwood Hills

The following is a posting that I started in 2010, but for some reason I did not publish it. So, I added more content and here it is!

The Parkwood Hills neighbourhood has some great examples of Mid-Century modern design - particularly in the form of semi-detached houses built by Minto.

These flat-roofed models are perhaps the most altered houses in Parkwood Hills. The house on the far right seems to be fairly intact - although I suspect the shutters are not original. On the left, a peaked roof was added to the garage - a common alteration.

Many owners have replaced the large picture windows with smaller versions. It is also common for homeowners to enclose the front porch. They appear to have been originally held up by slender pilotis (posts).

A peaked roof was added to this pair.

I do not have the plans for the houses above and those below...but I would love to get my hot little hands on them if any of my readers have them!

A different modern design. The house on the left added a larger second floor window that suits the architecture but changes the balance of the duo.
These homeowners added a peaked roof over the original flat roof on the first floor. Below is a another example of a hipped roof that was added on top of the flat roof. Perhaps there were issues with leaking?

 This pair has a great horizontal massing with a low-slung roof line and horizontal windows.

Large picture windows that go from floor to ceiling are common elements of the semi-detached houses in this area. The image below from the floor plan document shows the original picture window arrangement.

Even though it is generally traditional in style, the Maplewood design has a blank façade portion on the second floor without any windows. As the plan shows, the window in Bedroom 2 is on the side instead of the front of the house.

Notice the back-to-back fireplaces and the fact that the left unit has an un-centred one in their Living Room.

 Some homeowners have chosen to add a window on the blank façade.

...Or make the one window stand out with an arched top.
A later version of the Maplewood design has a window instead of the blank wall, as the window in Bedroom 2 is moved to the front of the house.

A Mansard-roofed version of the Maplewood with two front windows on the second floor of each unit.
Another design characterized by a blank wall façade. I do not have the plan for this particular model, so if you do please let me know! 
A long time ago I did a blog posting on the blank wall used in some Minto designs at the time: Trademarks of Design: The Minto blank wall

I am not sure if the roof over the first floor bump-out was originally flat on all of the houses, but here are two images with sloped roofs - and renovations/additions that changed the look of the houses.

Another two-storey semi-detached design built in Parkwood Hills with large picture windows and a section of blank façade (next to the front door).


A common design built on the rolling terrain of Parkwood Hills is this high-ranch plan. Notice the blank wall sections on the façade. The front doors are to the side.


A version with a Mansard roof.
I do not have the exact floor plan for the houses shown above, but I have a feeling that they are a variation of the Sherwood plan (shown below) but with the garage built underneath.
 Someone made a note on this plan that there is "no back door". A later version of the plan is shown below - with the addition of a back door!


The Sherwood in Parkwood Hills with its large bowed picture window. This version also has a great flat-roofed carport.
The Wychwood is another variation of the semi-detached bungalow plan, but with 3 bedrooms on the main level.

An later version of the Wychwood with a different façade.

This photo shows 2 sets of semi-detached houses designed perfectly for the hilly terrain in Parkwood Hills. Although all four homes added a traditional bay window, the roof line that follows the hill is strikingly modern. I suspect that these plans are the Wychwood or a variation of the design.

I must admit that these semi-detached houses are in Beacon Hill North, but they also show how Minto utilized the same modern roof line that follows the hillside.

Two pairs of bungalows in Parkwood Hills with large picture windows and low-slung roof lines. I do not have the plans for these houses.

Below are two later variations of the plans built in Parkwood Hills by Minto. These were built in Beacon Hill North and Tanglewood. Some of the designs shown earlier in this posting were also built in those two areas.

Friday, May 1, 2015

1970s Garden Homes by Campeau

Like Minto, Campeau also built many "garden home" neighbourhoods during the 1970s, yet with a different take on the type of house. Often Campeau-built complexes have some designs with garages intermixed with the garage-less houses.
For many of the garden home complexes built by Campeau in the 1970s there were two basic plans: a 3 bedroom unit and a 4 bedroom unit. Below are some examples of these designs.
Arlington Place (Arlington Woods) and Rothwell Ridge (Beacon Hill North)

Some of the garden homes in Rothwell Ridge have detached garages at the rear of the houses.
The same plans were built in both areas.

Beacon Heights (Beaconwood)

Some of the Beacon Heights garden homes have detached garages, particularly those backing on to Montreal Road. The house designs are nearly identical to those built in Arlington Place and Rothwell Ridge.


Monterey Court(Leslie Park)
The area around Baseline Road and Greenbank Road in Leslie Park and Redwood Park have a large number of Campeau-built garden homes. The rows have variety in materials and styles of the individual units. Most of these units are not condominiums, but have a common element or joint use agreement. Some of the houses were originally rentals, but later converted for purchase.
Similar plans were built by Campeau in other complexes across the city - even as early as the 1960s.

The designs all have a kitchen at the front:

Huntridge (Hunt Club)

In this complex Campeau's typical 3 bedroom garden home plan is intermixed with townhouses that have garages.
  The facades of the houses in Huntridge have a contemporary look with wood accents (Courtesy of Google Maps).
Foxdown(Hunt Club)
The Foxdown condominium also has a mixture of designs, some with garages and others without. The plan below is similar to the typical 3 bedroom garden home that Campeau built, but it is 3-stories tall with the garage on the lower level.



The garden home plan above takes advantage of the hillside site. The front has three stories and the back has two stories above grade with an exit to the rear yard and parking area from the second floor. Below is an image of the fronts of the houses (Courtesy of Google Maps). 

Court Garden Homes 
 Perhaps the most innovative of Campeau's designs are their court garden homes. These were built in various neighbourhoods across the city. The designs gained recognition for their innovation by the Canadian Housing Design Council and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Below are just some of the neighbourhoods built with these unique designs: 
Wedgewood (Sawmill Creek/Timbermill)

Beacon Hill Court - now called Linden Walk
(Beacon Hill North)
An air photo of a portion of the complex shows the unique intersection of units and courtyards(Courtesy of Google Maps).


Loyola Court (Beacon Hill North)

Loyola Court from the air (Courtesy of Bing Maps).
 Below is an image of the Montreal Road and Ogilvie Road intersection in Beacon Hill North. This area is exceptional as it has a very high concentration of 1970s garden homes. The complex on the right side is Loyola Court, at the centre-top is Beacon Hill Court and at the bottom right is Beacon Heights - all built by Campeau. On the west side of Ogilvie Road is the Lassiter Court development by Minto. At the bottom left is a rental garden home complex by Minto and in the bottom left corner is Campeau's Rothwell Ridge complex(Courtesy of Google Maps).
South Keys

 I actually do not have any information on this Campeau-built complex of garden homes shown below at the northwest corner of Cahill Drive and Albion Road South (Courtesy of Google Maps). What I find interesting is the layout of the complex with all of the houses pushed to the edge of the property, and with their front doors facing outward. The centre of the complex has the parking and a communal pool and green space.
If anyone has information on this complex, please let me know!