Thursday, April 4, 2013

Carriage Homes and Other Variations on a Theme

I apologize for not posting regularly, but it has been a very busy semester with school. The following post is quite long and chocked full of interesting plans, so enjoy!

But first...a special thank you to a reader who inspired me to create this blog posting!

Carriage Homes and Other Variations on a Theme

In 1970 Costain unveiled their "Carriage Home" designs in Blackburn Hamlet. These designs present a unique variation on townhouse design, where the houses are only linked together by the garage.

By having the units separated by the garage, each house can have a completely different facade style. The garages have doors on the back, which allows for direct access to rear yards - and thus removing the need for easements and right-of-ways with other townhouse designs. Additionally, being only attached by the garage is a great noise buffer between adjacent houses. Some of the carriage home designs also have rooms over the garage.

Below are a series of Costain carriage house plans built in Blackburn Hamlet:

With the addition of rooms over the garage, this plan has 5 bedrooms.

I am not sure if this is a reproduction of an actual streetscape, or a creation of the artist.

Ottawa Citizen, October 7, 1975.

Below are the plans built in Convent Glen (Orleans).  All of the plans from this series have drive-through garages.

Below is a recent view of the Blackburn Hamlet street shown in Costain's 1970s brochure above. Notice the change in the speed limit from Imperial to Metric.
Also of note are the changes in the facades of the houses. The second house from the left has a covered porch added. Shutters have been added to the adjacent house. It is hard to tell from this angle, but the left house has an addition built on the back and side.

The group of plans below show the variation of bedroom options available with Costain's carriage house designs.

Costain's later Colonial Series (c. 1978) of semi-detached houses in Convent Glen (Orleans) are only linked by the garage, similar to the carriage house plans. They do differ in that none have a drive-through garage or the option for rooms over the garage.


Costain was not the only builder to offer carriage home designs. Minto also built these types of houses in Orleans Wood, Queenswood Heights (Orleans) and Barrhaven Common in the 1970s and early 1980s:

My favourite feature of this particular design is the sunken living room and dining room with a railing overlook. Minto used a similar arrangement of rooms in townhouse and detached house plans around the same time.

A unique design with a main-floor bedroom/den.

Minto's end unit plans are unique in that they have the garage in front of the house as opposed to being at the side.

What a great facade with a decidedly contemporary roof line!

As a variation on a theme, Minto built the following high-ranch semi-detached designs in Queenswood South (Orleans) linked by carports, c. 1978:

This series of semi-detached houses c. 1977, by Minto are not quite carriage homes as on the main floor they are linked by the laundry rooms. The same designs were also built in Orleans Wood.

From the exterior the plan below appears to be only linked by the garage, but upon closer inspection, the family rooms touch. I am a fan of the asymmetrical angular facade of the left unit! 

In Hunt Club Estates Tartan constructed semi-detached versions of carriage homes, with both garages linked in the middle. C. 1975.

c. 1978, Tartan built "Link Singles", which are essentially carriage houses. They all have drive-though garages and cedar decks over the garage.

One of my favourite aspects of 1970s contemporary facades is the way in which they combine a variety of colours, textures and materials. Here are some of the Tartan link-singles in yummy earth tones.

In Rolling Meadows (Barrhaven), Holitzner presented another variation on the carriage house theme with a couple of their semi-detached plans, c. 1978.

In 1979, Sandbury Homes built these "detached singles" in Orleans. They are linked only by the garage.

By the 1990s, carriage home designs (and variations) were no longer built en-masse in Ottawa. Approximately 2 years ago, Tartan Homes began building "Connected Singles" in Soho West (Kanata) with houses linked by 2-car garages, and individual facades like the carriage homes fist debuted 43 years ago. These houses are sold out, and they currently do not have similar plans for sale. Maybe they will bring them back in upcoming projects?