Sunday, February 28, 2016

Campeau's Renaissance Series

During the 1970s Campeau released a series of houses called the "Renaissance Series" that are an affordable collection of detached houses. The designs are straightforward with rectangular footprints and no "frills" in terms of the exterior facades to help reduce the costs. The designs are also modest in size, most with only 1 bathroom. 

Even today, these houses are still a relatively affordable option for detached houses not far from downtown. In Carson Grove the houses today typically sell for between $350,00-$400,000, although some highly renovated houses with additions sell for up to $470,000. In the small Timbermill neighbourhood (Sawmill Creek), few houses come up for sale, but when they do, they typically sell for under $400,000. 

Below are two brochures for the series of designs, followed by a handful of plans from Carson Grove:

This version of the Castille design has 3 bedrooms on the main level, but no dining room. You will notice that on other versions of the plan shown below, the bedroom behind the kitchen becomes a dining room.
This version of the Salisbury varies from the earlier design as the 4th bedroom is now a dining room.
Phase V of Carson Grove has a few larger designs, including the Hanover front-split and the Crestwood 2-storey from the "Executive Series".
The Secord design was also built in this phase of Carson Grove.

Timbermill is a small pocket of Renaissance Series houses built off of Albion Road, south of Hunt Club Road. There are a few semi-detached houses in this pocket, but unfortunately, I do not have the plans for them.

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Manor Houses of Hunt Club Woods

A few years ago I shared one of these designs on a blog post of favourite plans in south Ottawa. At first blush the houses do not seem to fit in with the mid-century modern and 1970s aesthetic that this blog celebrates. Yet, upon further inspection, they represent a turning point in housing design in Ottawa between the open-concept spaces of the modern era, and the return to more traditional (and more formal) layouts that had became more common in the 1980s. The houses are almost like on last "hurrah" before tastes changed in housing design.
 On the outside the houses look like on large manor houses, but each building is made up of three attached units, each with an attached garage and separate entrance.
 All of the plans have formal separate dining rooms, but the excitement in space unfolds upon entering the living rooms, with two-storey spaces and a second floor loft that overlooks the room below. Often the fireplace, and sometimes the staircase, becomes an integral part of the architectural volume of these spaces. 

Although architecturally-unique, it appears that some of the houses were not built with these open to above spaces and loft, and instead a bedroom is located above the living room. Perhaps home buyers were given a choice to have an additional bedroom instead of a loft. Interestingly, the end unit plan with the largest garage (a 2 car garage) is actually a 1 bedroom house, plus loft.

 There are 3 basic plans, but with slight variations in room sizes and window placement depending on the facade of the house. Likewise, entrances to the garages and the driveway placement varied as per the siting within the neighbourhood. In each manor the middle unit has a visible front door on the front of the house, while the other units doors are tucked around the side, keeping up appearances that the house is one large dwelling and not 3 units. Likewise, in most cases, only one set of garage doors is visible from the front of the house, with the others tucked around the side.

 In the Beaverbrook area of Kanata, one builder essentially copied Campeau's manor house designs in the mid-1980s, but instead of two-story living rooms with lofts above, the houses have 2 or 3 bedrooms on the second floor. The designs have other slight variations, but are essentially the same as their predecessors. 

To better demonstrate the similarities, here are larger versions of the two plans below - the original above: