Edmonton Infill Design Best in Class
Marc Brulotte, Brenda Peters and Gilbert Catabay from Select partnered with Laurie Lebirk and Morel Mason from LIMEtree Inc. to develop ideas for the 2016 Edmonton Infill Design Ideas Competition. The team's key goal was to create something that is well designed and desirable to the existing community, potential owners, and the City at large and at the same time something that could be feasibly developed. The team elected to develop a concept that created 3 dwellings on a 50'x140' lot typically found in Edmonton's mature neighbourhoods.
The design was well received by the world-class jury of architects, planners and urban designers. "Design is approached thoughtfully and care is taken in how the building interacts with the entire length of the lot." The design was awarded Best in Class in the Attached Housing category.
Two units with verandas face the front street and the third smaller unit is integrated with the garages/parking off the rear lane. The character of established neighbourhoods varies widely within the City of Edmonton and their style can be difficult to define. The modern farmhouse vernacular was the basis for the design because its architectural elements offer superior flexibility in complementing the existing mix of 'post-war' development, recent redevelopment and infill styles. Due to the high number of bungalows in established neighbourhoods it is also critical to minimize the massing on all edges of the houses and garages to more seamlessly blend within the context of the neighbourhood. Lack of enforcement of this fundamental architectural principle is the cause of much angst in the ongoing infill discussion. Architectural guidelines and development controls on built form and exterior materials will promote positive enhancements to the neighbourhood character.
Another key goal in the design was to maximize sunlight and privacy within each dwelling space in a manner that does not negatively impact the neighbors and still keeps three units viable for the range of age groups and incomes. The provision of adequate and functional onsite parking and storage were also critical elements incorporated to minimize potential conflicts. Site design and landscaping must be more functional and creative for marketability and livability.