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Showing posts from April, 2012

Evolution of a plan - The Campeau Centre Hall Design

When you hear the word 'Tara', many of you will immediately think of the grand plantation house from the movie Gone With the Wind. This type of grand house with a symmetrical facade and centre-hall plan, has long been a symbol of luxury and grandeur. In the mid-century this type of house was built by many builders in Ottawa. In some areas it was the only type of house built. In this posting I will look at the centre-hall plans built by Campeau and explore how the design changed over the years.
In the 1950s Campeau had very few 2-storey designs, as bungalows and 1 1/2 storey houses were the norm. As such, the centre-hall plan did not appear in their design catalogue until the 1960s.   This is an early example of a Campeau centre-hall plan. It is actually a contemporary take on the design, with a facade that is not perfectly symmetrical because of the staircase placement. The large 4 bedroom design was quite luxurious for the time. 
One of the key traditions of the center-hall pla…

A bright idea: the front-split

Split level houses were very popular in the mid-century and came in many shapes and sizes. The side-split was a popular option for wider home sites, but for narrower lot widths, the back-split became the split level of choice for builders. The biggest drawback of a back-split is the lack of a back door to the rear yard. With the bedrooms at the rear of most back-split designs, there is a visual disconnect between the living spaces and the yard. In the 1960s and 1970s, Campeau built a series of homes that is the perfect solution to the problem of a split level house on a narrow lot: the front-split. The design below from Carson Meadows, places the split level bedrooms at the front, and wonderful expanse of living spaces at the back open to the yard.

Likewise, these two designs in Katimavik by Campeau are front-splits. A version of the top plan was also built in Carson Meadows.






Mid-Century Marketing

For this posting I am venturing outside of Ottawa to share some pieces of mid-century marketing for houses and developments in Peel Region (Brampton/Bramalea and Mississauga). I have to admit that I spent the first 2/3 of my life living in Brampton, so I know quite a bit about my hometown and its mid-century roots. Here are a few great mid-century marketing pieces along with my own fun insights and comments.

Enjoy!



All that is missing in his dream bubble is a white picket fence, his wife, 2.5 kids and a dog named Scruffy. Ah, the North-American dream. Gotta love it!




1960s Gender roles aside, this companion ad was perfect for the time.


The same two birds in front of the house seem to be in most of the Bramalea ads from the time, such as in the 2 above...I wonder why?



I always love the features of 'dream homes' from the 1960s, like a carport and hood fan...
Whoa! Hold it! Don't sign yet...until you have seen Bramalea. But you must act quickly...Bramalea is selling out fast...there…