Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Favourite Plans - West End

As a continuation on my series showcasing my favourite plans, here is a selection from the west end of Ottawa. These are some of my favourite, or most interesting plans from my beloved collection.


Minto built a series of houses from their 'Heritage' collection in Graham Park/Qualicum and Skyline. The exteriors are traditionally-inspired, but with a modern twist. Here are a few of my top picks.

This bungalow plan is unusual with its very large dining room across the back.

In the 1960s and 1970s Minto built a series of condos with sunken living rooms, which make their condos feel more like houses. Their buildings on Ambleside and at 373 Laurier Avenue East also have these wonderful sunken rooms. Notice the large size of this particular unit, with 3 bedrooms plus a study.

At the base of the Ambleside I and II towers, are clusters of townhouses that are a great solution to a steep hillside site. They are bungalows at the front, but become 3-stories tall at the back,

This Minto plan has a sunken room, as a way of differentiating the open concept living room and dining room.

The Moncton plan has a great open concept living and dining room with a vaulted ceiling. I have always been a fan of having the kitchen at the front of the house. It gives you a great view of the neighbourhood when cooking and makes for safer communities with 'eyes on the street'.


This back split plan below is rare as it was not built very often.

This house is the prefect example of a sprawling ranch house from the mid-century. Of note are the unique T-shaped kitchen, eating area, family room, and the practical service entrance. This plan was built in Arlington Woods and Beacon Hill.

Below is a collection of Campeau plans built in Leslie Park and Playfair Park.

This is probably the most uniquely modern 2-storey design Campeau built. I adore the wall of windows over the entry and flat-roofed carport!

Macval, Craig Henry

Here are two great examples of the semi-detached houses Macval built in Craig Henry. They have great modern exteriors and both plans have very large living rooms across the back.

Kenden Builders, Whitehaven

The plan below has a very unusual and extremely large playroom over the garage.

This Whitehaven design has a great sunken entry with curved steps and an indoor planter box. Why did indoor planter boxes go out of fashion?

Assaly, Trend Village

A unique exterior and a courtyard behind the carport make this a neat plan. I love courtyards - more houses should be built with them...and with indoor planter boxes!

Teron, Lynwood Village

This plan has a great layout - especially with the den off the front entry (which could be a 4th bedroom). Notice the girl's and boy's bedrooms!

In Detail: The Cluster
A common arrangement found in many mid-century bungalows is the clustering off the kitchen of basement stairs, a side or back door, and a bathroom. This arrangement provided a direct route from the yard to the basement - handy for children coming in dirty from playing outside, where they could be marshaled to the basement laundry room for cleanup. In many of the postwar suburbs, the early years were wrought with muddy streets and lawns during construction of the community - so this arrangement was much appreciated.

The clustering of plumbing is also a cost-effective way to build, as in this detail from the Teron plan.

In some cases, the bathroom also had a second door that opened to the back or side entry, furthering the idea of a practical entry as a place to come in and wash up. In warmer climates such as in California, mid-century bungalows often had a direct door to the outside from one of the bathrooms - great for dirty kids, or coming in from the pool. I often wish my own house had a door from the powder room to my yard, especially when coming in wet from the pool or hot tub. It is just a another example of how much thought was put in to the design of mid-century houses!

More favourite plans to come...


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