Sunday, May 31, 2015

Old Barrhaven

The northwest section of Barrhaven is one of the oldest areas of the suburb. Within this area of Old Barrhaven are some interesting plans from the 1970s, including these designs by Holitzner. Below are the plans I have for that area along with a few comments.
The first three bungalow plans are variations on the same layout, each slightly larger.

There are two versions of the A-7 design, each with a slightly different kitchen and bathroom layout.


The plan below is quite unusual, especially the location of the basement staircase.


The family room in the plan below is extremely long!

I am not certain what the "E" series of plans are...and this is the only one I have. It looks like the same plan as the A-5...

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Martini Pit!

OK, so this is not actually in Ottawa, but I just had to share this! In the past I published a post on conversation pits in 1970s housing design: The Conversation Pit. I was just perusing through some old articles I had on my favourite tract house architect, the late Barry Berkus, and I happened upon this article from the May 1969 issue of House & Home magazine. One of Berkus's designs in Valencia Hills California has a "fenced martini pit". I love how it is specifically a "martini pit", but also the fact that it is fenced - presumably to keep martini drinkers in the pit and not free to wander around the house!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Mid-Century Modern semi-detached houses in Parkwood Hills

The following is a posting that I started in 2010, but for some reason I did not publish it. So, I added more content and here it is!

The Parkwood Hills neighbourhood has some great examples of Mid-Century modern design - particularly in the form of semi-detached houses built by Minto.

These flat-roofed models are perhaps the most altered houses in Parkwood Hills. The house on the far right seems to be fairly intact - although I suspect the shutters are not original. On the left, a peaked roof was added to the garage - a common alteration.

Many owners have replaced the large picture windows with smaller versions. It is also common for homeowners to enclose the front porch. They appear to have been originally held up by slender pilotis (posts).

A peaked roof was added to this pair.

I do not have the plans for the houses above and those below...but I would love to get my hot little hands on them if any of my readers have them!

A different modern design. The house on the left added a larger second floor window that suits the architecture but changes the balance of the duo.
These homeowners added a peaked roof over the original flat roof on the first floor. Below is a another example of a hipped roof that was added on top of the flat roof. Perhaps there were issues with leaking?

 This pair has a great horizontal massing with a low-slung roof line and horizontal windows.

Large picture windows that go from floor to ceiling are common elements of the semi-detached houses in this area. The image below from the floor plan document shows the original picture window arrangement.

Even though it is generally traditional in style, the Maplewood design has a blank façade portion on the second floor without any windows. As the plan shows, the window in Bedroom 2 is on the side instead of the front of the house.

Notice the back-to-back fireplaces and the fact that the left unit has an un-centred one in their Living Room.

 Some homeowners have chosen to add a window on the blank façade.

...Or make the one window stand out with an arched top.
A later version of the Maplewood design has a window instead of the blank wall, as the window in Bedroom 2 is moved to the front of the house.

A Mansard-roofed version of the Maplewood with two front windows on the second floor of each unit.
Another design characterized by a blank wall façade. I do not have the plan for this particular model, so if you do please let me know! 
A long time ago I did a blog posting on the blank wall used in some Minto designs at the time: Trademarks of Design: The Minto blank wall

I am not sure if the roof over the first floor bump-out was originally flat on all of the houses, but here are two images with sloped roofs - and renovations/additions that changed the look of the houses.

Another two-storey semi-detached design built in Parkwood Hills with large picture windows and a section of blank façade (next to the front door).


A common design built on the rolling terrain of Parkwood Hills is this high-ranch plan. Notice the blank wall sections on the façade. The front doors are to the side.


A version with a Mansard roof.
I do not have the exact floor plan for the houses shown above, but I have a feeling that they are a variation of the Sherwood plan (shown below) but with the garage built underneath.
 Someone made a note on this plan that there is "no back door". A later version of the plan is shown below - with the addition of a back door!


The Sherwood in Parkwood Hills with its large bowed picture window. This version also has a great flat-roofed carport.
The Wychwood is another variation of the semi-detached bungalow plan, but with 3 bedrooms on the main level.

An later version of the Wychwood with a different façade.

This photo shows 2 sets of semi-detached houses designed perfectly for the hilly terrain in Parkwood Hills. Although all four homes added a traditional bay window, the roof line that follows the hill is strikingly modern. I suspect that these plans are the Wychwood or a variation of the design.

I must admit that these semi-detached houses are in Beacon Hill North, but they also show how Minto utilized the same modern roof line that follows the hillside.

Two pairs of bungalows in Parkwood Hills with large picture windows and low-slung roof lines. I do not have the plans for these houses.

Below are two later variations of the plans built in Parkwood Hills by Minto. These were built in Beacon Hill North and Tanglewood. Some of the designs shown earlier in this posting were also built in those two areas.