Friday, August 31, 2012

The modern townhouses of Ottawa

From the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s a series of modern townhouse developments were built in Ottawa. Although they were built just outside the mid-century period, they have a very modern design aesthetic. Both the exteriors and the interior plans of these houses are unique and on my list of favourite plans.

Where Booth Street meets Lebreton Flats is a row of houses that are a perfect example of this style of modern townhouse. Each house is a different colour - allowing for individuality in the collective row. The surrounding area has pockets of such houses, including the ones shown below:

The Village Green, by J. Perez Corporation, c.1981
Many of the modern townhouses of this era are split-level designs and feature vaulted upper-floor ceilings as in the cross-section below.


The importance of natural lights is a common theme with these designs, so skylights and large windows are often used. In some houses interior windows and wall cutouts let light into central hallways.

The carport is also a common design feature of these houses.

With this particular design, the basement extends beyond the back wall of the house, and has skylights to let the light in.



The houses in this area are built on land leased from the CMHC.

Greenfield Village, by Laurnic, c. 1984-1985.
Nestled just off Greenfield Avenue near Sandy Hill is a cluster of split-level townhouses that typify the type of designs that I admire.
While all of the houses have identical facades, the staggered siting of them adds interest to the complex.

Each bedroom in these units are located on a separate level.

Belvedere Gate, by the Urbanetics Group, c. 1975.
Stitched into an established cul-de-sac in Lindealea, the houses in Belvedere Gate are a modern departure from the existing traditional houses - yet their low-key facades fit in nicely with the area. The builder also re-furbished the historic houses and sold them as a part of the redevelopment of the area.

These units are surprisingly large!


Cathcart Mews, by Hab-Com, c. 1977-1981. 
Located on the eastern leg of Cathcart Street, near the Rideau River, is a complex called Cathcart Mews. There are 3 types of houses in the complex - the first of which are these stacked townhouses.

The second type of houses in the complex are the mews houses - accessed via this gateway - which are on a private lane.


The balance of the houses are townhouses. Notice the use of both wood and brick on the facades, which is common to this era of modern townhouse. 

Springfield Mews, by Hab-Com, c. 1982-1985.
Marching up the incline of Springfield Road in Lindenlea is this unique development of houses. At the very top of the hill are condo apartments with unique designs in their own right. Lower down the hill are these townhouse designs: 

The plans above and below are for stacked townhouses.


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