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Showing posts from April, 2014

The Conversation Pit

One of my favourite aspects of mid-century, 1970s and 1980s housing design was actually not very common and never really caught on en-masse for builder's tract housing. The conversation pit was usually reserved for spacious and/or avant garde houses, but a few rare examples can be found in Ottawa and the Greater Toronto Area.  The sunken conversation pit was commonly centred on a fireplace and was an intimate area to gather and have a conversation - thus the name of the design element. Sometimes this space was designed as a way to make a portion of a larger space into a cozy spot to gather. The sitting surface may have been in the form of built-in benches, or the stepped carpeted floor became the sitting surface. 
The following are some examples of builder tract housing with conversation pits. I have a couple of Ottawa examples, but I have also dug in to my Orange County (California) files and my Toronto-area plans to share some interesting examples.

Cadillac Fairview built this des…