Monday, December 12, 2011

Assaly Villas

From the mid-1960s to the early 1970s, Assaly Construction built a series of very unique townhouses in Westcliffe Estates (Bell's Corners) and Trend Village. The designs were very innovative for the time and included plans with 2-car garages, 4 bedroom designs, as well as a bungalow townhouse plan with a courtyard.

Originally, the houses were built with very traditional facades, but as revealed later in this post, many of these traditional facades have been adapted to make the houses look quite modern.

Above are the original plans for the Assaly Villas. The two-story plans all have a large master bedroom over the garage with a balcony. I quite like the entry courtyard of the bungalow plans.
 The 'Spanish Villas' plans from Trend Village, which include a 1-car garage design with a unique take on the Mansard roof.
One of the most interesting things about the Assaly Villas is that so many of them have been changed over the years. I don't think there are any other examples of townhouses in Ottawa where so many have been drastically remodelled, changing their exteriors.
This bungalow design in Westcliffe Estates now has an enclosed courtyard with an appealing peaked roof. Many of the courtyards on the bungalow designs have been enclosed.

This Trend Village bungalow plan (unit on the right) is hardly recognisable with its second floor addition.
This row in Westcliffe Estates has actually become more modern as the owners have adapted the facades by enclosing the second floor porches.
Another similar row in Westcliffe Estates. I actually really like the variety of window arrangements and colour schemes. Originally, all of the units would have had a covered porch over the garage - but all have been enclosed.
Westcliffe Estates has a few types of Assaly Villas with a modern take on the Mansard roof. Interestingly, few of the Mansard roof units have been changed.
A row in Trend Village which where each owner has updated their units with a new colour scheme. Some have also enclosed the porch over the garage. While originally stucco, some of the houses have since been clad in siding, such as the unit to the far right.
Another Trend Village row where all of the units have enclosed the porch over the garage.
In this Trend Village row, the houses on the left have covered the entry courtyard above the curved archway.
This unit in Trend Village looks very different as the porch over the garage has been enclosed and half of the garage has been turned in to a room.
A Trend Village house that has been completely overhauled with additions all around.

In the late 1970s, Assaly built what they called 'Frehold Garden Villas', which are nearly identical in plan to the earlier 'Villas' they built a decade before. I am only aware of the one grouping that they built with the bungalow and 2-car garage designs in the late 1970s. The exteriors of these homes are more modern than their earlier counterparts. The shutters and covered porch on the bungalow design have been added, perhaps to make the house seem more traditional.
 The bungalow plan with its decidedly modern facade.
The two-car garage plan is a smaller, more-simplified version of the earlier Assaly Villas. Gone is the main floor powder room and second floor covered porch over the garage.


A 1977 ad for Assaly-built houses in Westcliffe Estates showing the modern facades of their semi-detached houses and Garden Villas. Their unique contemporary designs for semi-detached houses were short-lived with very few built (only a few in Westcliffe Estates and a couple in Barrhaven). Too bad...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Modern Mansard - The Neo-Mansard Roof

Throughout the mid-century, the Mansard roof was popular in Ottawa housing design. 

First popularised in France during the 17th century, and then revived in the 19th century, the roof style re-appeared in Ottawa during the 1960s. At first the roof was used on historically-inspired houses, but was eventually altered in a variety of ways to have a more modern take on tradition.

Campeau was the builder who used the roof the most in the mid-century, but other builders also followed suit.
A traditional use of the Mansard roof. Playfair Park North/South, Russell Heights, c. 1965.
This plan had a traditional Mansard option as well as 2 Dutch Colonial options with a Gambrel roof. Beacon Hill and South Keys, c. 1967.

Here is a great example of a modern take on the Mansard roof. Instead of protruding dormer windows with arched tops, these houses have an inset window and an asymmetrical facade. From the side, the roof actually has more of a Gambrel-style silhouette.
These unique courtyard houses were built in South Keys,  Beacon Hill (Loyola Court), Sawmill Creek (Wedgewood), and Beaverbrook (Salter Square) during the mid 1970s.

A wonderfully modern take on the Mansard roof. Sadly the asphalt shingled roof above takes away from the rather appealing cedar shingled section. I suspect the top part was added as the roof may have been flat when built. Ridgewood complex by Campeau, near Mooney's Bay. c. 1970s.
This was a sort-lived plan that was not built in great numbers. c. 1968

The most common Campeau house to have the Mansard roof was their Bonnechere design. Over the years, there were various versions of the Bonnechere, as shown in the plans below. Beacon Hill and South Keys, c. 1967

This version of the Bonnechere has a Mansard option and a Gambrel roof option. Notice the very large unfinished attic space. Early 1970s.

In Hunt Club, the Bonnechere plan was called the Monterey, but is based on the same plan. In this version the usual unfinished attic space is now a very large Master Bedroom. Late 1970s.

The builder Macval, which later joined Campeau, used a modern take on Mansard roofs in some of their houses built in Craig Henry. c. 1976.

 Likewise, Teron used a modern interpretation of the Mansard roof on some houses Beaverbrook (Kanata), during the late 1960s and early 1970s.
As a Canadian spin on the Mansard roof, it was often clad in cedar shingles. Teron houses in Beaverbrook, c. 1967.

One of the options on many Teron designs in Beaverbrook was for a modern interpretation of the Mansard roof. Mid 1960s.

Costain Homes offered Mansard roof options on many of their houses in Convent Glen. C. 1977.

This is one of the most unique takes on the Mansard roof I have seen...and I love it! The angled projections around the windows are a great modern twist. Blackburn Hamlet, early 1970s.

This design has a similar framing around the windows, only without the angled projection. Cadillac Fairview, Barrhaven, 1975.

This roof is a hybrid of a Neo-Mansard and Grambrel roof with inset windows. A number of Minto designs have this hybrid roofline from the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Having the roofline roll down the front of a house can help to make a 3-storey house look less tall. Beacon Hill North, early 1970s.

Minto-built Canadian Housing Design Council award home in Qualicum.

These condo townhouses have a very modern take on the Mansard roof with a cedar shingle roof that extends down the upper two stories. McKellar Park, Late 1970s.

By the end of the 1970s, the Neo-Mansard roof became less common on newly-built houses in Ottawa. Here is a late example from 1980. Tartan Homes, Hunt Club.

While based on tradition, the use of the Mansard roof in mid-century Ottawa often had a modern twist. Creativity abounded with the varied way that roof line was interpreted by designers across the city.