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13 2005 :: houses and housing


Dual flush buttons are the key to massive water savings. A half flush (3 litres) is used for liquid waste and a full flush (6 litres) is used for solid waste. Caroma’s two-button dual flush technology averages less than 4 litres per flush. The remarkable 6/3 litre two button dual flush system is the latest development in Caroma’s research and technological advancement and a world first. With an average flush volume equivalent to just one gallon it is set to become the global standard for water usage. With some homes in Canada still flushing over 100,000 litres of water a year, compared to Australian homes which average 27,000 litres, the Caroma toilets are sure to please the user and the environment.

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issue 13 spring 2005

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contributors Alejandro Alarcon Michael Barton Jean-François Brosseau Scott Donovan Frida Escobedo Peter Hargreaves Dan Heaton Ivan Hernandez Quintéla Ron Isaac Christie MacLaren Florian Maurer

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Klaus Mayer Tonkao Panin David Poiron Carmon Shirras Steve Smyth Joylyn Tesky Shawn van Sluys Paul Whelan Richard White Stephanie White

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above: a high end modern Sami house in the Finnmark region 66 left: a Sami house in Karasjok, based on their traditional buildings, with sod roof and battered sides.

conference report:

sami housing | Finnmark, Norway michael barton The region of Finnmark is in the very northernmost region of Norway, around 71 degrees north. The Sami people live in this region, their lives still entwined with the reindeer herds, as they have been for thousands of years. Traditional Sami lands extend from Norway, into Sweden, Finland and the Murmansk region of Russia where the indigenous people are by far the worst off in terms of cultural recognition by the larger state. Overall, the indigenous people of this region are at a similar stage of development to the First Nations people of the Yukon. There are parallels in the needs of both groups for housing, community facilities and infrastructure.


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two day conference in Karasjok (the main town in the Finnmark region) was attended by representatives from all of the four Sami groups, as well as architects, engineers, economic development people, a few academics such as a professor of anthropology, local politicians and the media. The conference was opened by Geir Tommy Pedersen, the leader of the Sami Council, and was followed by sessions which dealt with historical background, culturally significant material and needs and approaches to community housing requirements. The traditional Sami dwelling is the gumma, circular with sod on the sloped-in walls and roof. Some modern Sami houses still incorporate these features; in this they are

sustainable and could earn a few LEED points. Gummas had one main area divided according to specific use, including space for reindeer. A young Sami couple might move into a fairly small house to begin their life together; as they acquire children, they expand the property. Sometimes grandparents will move in, resulting in more expansion — the opposite of many modern cultures where people start down-sizing when the children have left the nest. Our work on an eco-logical approach to planning and design in the north outlining seasonal/cyclical considerations, the Canadian LEED system and e-green technical examples seems to fit well with Sami culture and philosophy presented at the conference. c Michael Barton is a consulting architect with Energy Solutions Centre in Whitehorse, Yukon.

ivan hernandez quintéla

daniel heaton

joylyn teskey

michael barton and a sami leader

richard white tonkao panin

ron isaac klaus mayer and petra sattler-smith

paul whelan

contents | On Site 13 | Houses + housing | spring 2005

peter hargreaves shawn van sluys

jean-françois brosseau

stephanie white david poiron scott donovan

florian maurer

the deconstructed binding of Gordon Matta-Clark. Phaidon, 2004 see page 48

carmon shirras and christie maclaren steve smyth


masthead | information | contact us


Michael Barton | the sami gumma | Finnmark Norway


Ron Isaac | change and fit | Forsyth + MacAllen, Bilodeau


Tonkao Panin | TEN | Bangkok Thailand


Scott Donovan | collaborations| Halifax NS


Steve Smyth | city v suburbia | Edmonton Alberta


David Poiron | rainscreen detail | Nanaimo BC


Peter Hargreaves | elders duplex | Chisasibi Québec


Ludens | casa duo | Mazatlan Mexico


Christie Maclaren | Green | Banff Alberta


Florian Maurer | bylaws | Naramata BC


Perro Rojo | 3 houses | Mexico City Mexico


Klaus Mayer | sol cab | Alaska


Richard White | interrupted sites | Lac Manitou Québec


Paul Whelan | fugitive pieces | west Toronto Ontario


Dan Heaton | material vernacular | Waterton Alberta


Cimaise | farmhouse | Ste-Catherine-de-Hatley Québec


Joylyn Teskey | barber’s haircut | Edmonton and north


Shawn Van Sluys | Ana Rewakowicz | Lethbridge Alberta


Stephanie White | on bravery housing | houses | house

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push | reshaping domestic topography ron isaac


uildings in which we live may accommodate work, play, rest, entertainment and exercise. This variety demands spaces of various dimensions, qualities of light, temperature, enclosure, and visual and acoustic privacy. Also, what is suitable for one person’s living may be intolerable for another. So, the domestic environment needs to be a constantly shifting collection of objects, surfaces, filters and devices capable of producing the many qualities we may desire. And, we need to interact with these devices to have them suit our particular wants. Like a bed, the house or apartment should rightly be made, unmade, and remade by the activities, rituals and desires of habitation. In short, the house or apartment should be flexible.


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The value of having a private space that we can inhabit stems partly from the fact that we can ‘claim’ this space by arranging it to suit our needs. The ability to rearrange relieves monotony and it may be practical to use flexible design elements where functions overlap. Changing our domestic surroundings for special occasions, or as is required by some ritual or circumstance, can greatly enrich our experience of the places in which we live. These rituals may be daily, weekly, monthly, seasonally, or yearly. This flexibility may be achieved by manipulation or re-habitation. The dwelling itself need not change, but if the way in which it is used or inhabited can

be reinterpreted, it can be equally valuable as a flexible design. One may wish to relocate one’s sleeping quarters from time to time or by season based on qualities of light, enclosure, temperature, or sound. A design which allows the resident to switch from room to room is certainly flexible and potentially of great value.

Unit plans for First Step Housing design competition. Units below have been contracted.

The ability to manipulate the qualities of interior space has long been a consideration in the design of Japanese houses, just as it is central to Shigeru Ban’s 9 Square Grid House (1999) or his Curtain Wall House (1995). European designers have given us some wellknown examples of flexible design including the Rietveld-Schroder house (1924), and Eileen Gray’s E-1027 (1955) to whom the idea of impermanence and remaking was central. Canadian designers appear to be less involved in producing works which incorporate flexibility. There are, however, some recent examples of flexible designs by Canadians that help to illustrate the value of this approach to design.

Vancouver’s Stephanie Forsythe and Todd MacAllen have designed a ‘Soft House’ which was selected as one of five winning entries in the First Step housing competition held in New York in 2003. This is a multi-unit building in which the units are made of a flexible honeycomb structure that allows them to be literally reshaped by the users. As the soft housing units are compressed, the public hallway takes up their space. Thus, if residents wish to gather in the hallway, they may compress their units to create a suitable venue. This epitomizes the idea of appropriating or claiming space. Presumably, the honeycomb structured fabric enclosure of which the units are made will also change the way in which they filter light, depending on the degree to which they are compressed. Both the dimension and the quality of the space are changed.

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Interior of unit showing collapsible spaces, balcony, and louvred exterior wall

Forsythe and MacAllen’s interest in flexibility is also expressed in their 2002 winning entry for the Aomori Northern Style Housing competition in Japan. Although the requirements of this project have changed since the review of the initial design, (the housing complex has been replaced by a museum and cultural centre) it is the scheme for a 200 unit housing complex that is of interest here. Interior volumes expand and collapse, and exterior walls employ devices that may be controlled to manipulate light, sound, view and degree of privacy.


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Light from the exterior is filtered by translucent operable glass louvres, which enclose balconies that are in turn separated from the interior space by sliding glass doors. The louvres, which are vertical, can be pivoted to be completely open thus admitting breeze, direct light and sound. Alternatively, they may be shut to create a quiet enclosed balcony that is calm and infused with filtered light. There are many degrees of openness available to the resident and the variety is made manifest by the exterior appearance of the building. Yet more flexibility is made available by the pullout spaces, which can disappear into the interior wall of the unit shown.

Ramp in raised position. Lowered ramp collapses space of the kitchen and provides access to sleeping area above.

Jacques Bilodeau’s Montreal residence and atelier for landscape architect Claude Cormier achieves flexibility both by the use of moveable elements as well as static multivalent constructions that are both furniture and architecture. One of the more unusual features of this work is the floor/ramp/ceiling that is raised and lowered providing access to the upper sleeping area and collapsing the space of the kitchen. Hydraulic manipulation of this floor is as necessary to living in this space as are eating and sleeping. Other moveable or flexible building elements allow for the manipulation of vertical elements that affect the configuration of the plan. Here, an original feature changes the building’s section to unique effect. The ambiguity of some of the elements used here is important. A single surface may be a seat, a table, a shelf, or a floor. Flexibility is gained not from motion, but reinterpretation.

These dynamic examples from two Canadian designers illustrate some of the exciting possible solutions to the problem of making flexible, adaptable design for the domestic environment. The shifting interior landscapes and manipulable spaces give us an inkling of the many rich environments we may come to inhabit if we design more dwellings with flexibility in mind: more spaces that can be unmade and remade. Otherwise, we may not be taking full advantage of our living spaces, perhaps like a bed in which we sleep only above the covers. c

Ron Isaac holds degrees in art history, environmental design, and architecture. He currently works as an intern architect with Young + Wright Architects in Toronto.

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CASE, Community Architects for Shelter and Environment (formed in 1996) is a group of Thai architects interested in alternate housing visions, the relationship between dwelling and context and both the physical environment and the human element of the place. TEN OSAKA

TEN | the dialectic between communal and individual dwelling tonkao panin

In 1999 CASE Japan was formed. Both groups are linked by conceptual collaboration, as well as informal exchanges of information and ideas. CASE Japan’s first systematic cooperative housing project is called TEN Osaka — ten separate housing units on the same plot of land for ten working class families whose choice of housing have always been restricted to tiny generic apartments. Each of these working class families is unique, some with many children, some with elderly members. They all work in different places in different time frames. CASE Japan wanted a housing project where each unit would employ similar architectural as well as structural and constructional logic, yet be particular enough to respond to varying requirements of its inhabitants. They involved the clients in the design process to the extent that each dwelling unit is an expression of a particular way of life. Not only were the inhabitants of each unit involved in the design of their own home, they also had to cooperate with their prospective neighbours. All TEN inhabitants gradually became the co-designers of their housing project. They could choose their adjacent neighbors according to similarities and differences in living conditions. They decided what to share and what not to share. In many ways, during the design process, they expressed their senses of individuality, while shaping the community. The result is a housing project that can be seen as both ‘one’ unified unit and ‘ten’ separate quarters. All the units are connected by either a courtyard


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or a continuous rooftop garden that serve as multipurpose spaces that are easily accessed but separated from all the private spaces. By actually involving the clients in the design process, CASE became an architect-consultant more than an architect-designer of the project. Yet, CASE’s role is crucial; it transformed the clients’ needs and visions into a final design that responds to each individual and to the whole community. TEN Osaka, completed in 2004, is the point of departure for TEN Bangkok.

TEN BANGKOK TEN Bangkok responds to current housing problems in Bangkok. With the total provision of upper income housing by the private sector and government aid to the lowest classes, Bangkok’s broad spectrum of middle classes are left without alternate housing strategies. Overpriced houses are out of reach, medium incomes are ineligible for aid. With this problem in mind, CASE Thailand shifted its focus to ideas of community. What would happen if individuals built strength through cooperation and collaboration with others. As a collective force, will they stand a chance against the brutal economic competition in the housing world? As an individual each of them remains powerless, but as a community, both their economic and creative power may multiply.

Site selection: the land has to be affordable and accessible. Currently the site is not situated in the most convenient location of the city however future expansion of Bangkok’s transportation system is taken into account. All aspects of the context are considered as a potential framework for the design. The project occupies a single plot of land, divided into ten equal subplots. Each inhabitant is the designer of their own home, in mandatory design collaboration with their

T E N B an gk o k

TEN Bangkok is a pilot project whose middle class inhabitants are architects; some are members of CASE Thailand. They lack buying power, and alternate housing choice drew them together. All were in search of their ideal dwelling.

neighbours. One could not simply insert one’s own design into the site without careful consideration and negotiation with others. Each inhabitant would therefore own a house in a place that also belongs to others. housing | houses | house

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INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE DWELLING CRITERIA The question that predicates the design is: to what extent can each and every particular need, requirement and criterion be fulfilled? And to what extent can each inhabitant conform to the collective living within the community? Both individual and collective dwelling criteria were established before the design began. COOPERATIVE DESIGN TEN does not result from the design of a single creative genius. As TEN frames the design, a community is formed and cooperative dwelling has begun. Architects do not determine and control, rather architecture is the fruit of cooperative design where architects are clients and clients are architects. Each design is a result of laborious negotiation with others as it is shaped and reshaped collectively, and as the requirements of each inhabitant are reconstructed. The result is a unique collective project whose sense of totality is marked by the diversity of each individual design. Cooperative design may work if it also allows individual identity to emerge.

WHAT’S NEXT? TEN Bangkok is currently at the very beginning of its construction process. Yet, the ultimate goal of this project is not to serve only a single group of people. Both TEN Osaka and TEN Bangkok set themselves up as an experimental project in search of alternate housing visions. This also opens doors for possibility. It may provide choice and opportunity for those who are sympathetic to TEN’s


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T EN Ba ng kok

DIFFICULTIES As a pilot project, TEN faces various difficulties. Its novelty and experimental nature means that TEN doesn’t fit pre-established programs. TEN has to establish new relationships with restricted financial programs and new understandings with existing building regulations. These difficulties have become the creative and productive challenges for TEN. They urge the project to examine all possible alternatives so TEN can become a flexible housing project that is capable of fitting into today’s changing life styles. working method and concept. Thus TEN may become the kind of housing suitable to both individual requirement and universal application as well as particular location. c Architecture is no longer the familiar cult of objects. (Sanford Kwinter)

Tonkao Panin currently teaches at the Faculty of Architecture, Silpakorn University, Bangkok. She is a practicing architect in Bangkok and a member of CASE Thailand.

T E N B an g k o k

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scott donovan Late in 2000 two Halifax couples came together to test an idea about shared resources and collaborative working methods in the construction and habitation of a house. Their common goals and values informed choices of location, design, financing and construction management.

Inspiration for the project came from the example of intentional communities and their success, if not popular appeal, in Europe, Canada and the United States. Co-housing is a values-based approach to housing. People come together not solely out of need for shelter, but to engage collaboratively, to play an active role in the design and development of housing, and to live intentionally as part of a community. Co-housing typically has 12-60 houses, tightly clustered, with a common laundry, workshop and guest suites. The anchor of the community is a common house (kitchen and dining hall) where people might share a few meals a week. Co-housing projects can take years to complete and because of their often large size they rarely locate in urban centres. However much we admired the co-housing model, we were much less ambitious. Our community was the four of us — a miniature test case. We each came to the project with different resources. Peter and Carolyn had equity in a house they were going to sell. While Mary and I lacked the cash for a new house purchase, we did have building and construction management skills to offer. Both Carolyn and myself are design professionals so there would never be a shortage of design advice. Together we uncovered a means by which we could all contribute equitably to a housing project.


above: front, back, night below: interior lower right: deck

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s c o t t do no v a n

house | collaboration

Carolyn Green, Peter Wallace, Mary Spurr and myself, were all interested in changing our living conditions. Carolyn and Peter were looking to downsize and Mary and I were seeking a foothold in home ownership. We recognized that we could accomplish more if we pooled our resources. We were keen to renovate a house from older Halifax housing stock. This meant an energyefficient retrofit, which we favoured over new construction, and it would keep us closer to the urban core, releasing our dependence on the automobile. A small house would minimize construction costs and keep our ecological footprint small.

scot t don ov a n

The small footprint of the house (18x21) left plenty of room within the 3000 ft2 site for a garden. Much of the back yard had been used for years as a gas station parking lot. Instead of disturbing the existing grade we imported soil and constructed raised beds. Inert construction debris (plaster and brick masonry) was incorporated into a garden plan which today supports flowering shrubs, perennials and a kitchen garden.

A deal was struck. Peter and Carolyn agreed to purchase a property, pay legal and administrative costs, and fund a building renovation for up to one year. In exchange, Mary and I offered our time and building skills for a year of weekends as well as project management on the parts we weren’t able to do ourselves. Cash meets sweat equity. It was agreed in writing that once the renovation was complete, all costs, including the purchase price and renovations, would be split fifty-fifty, and Peter and Carolyn would mortgage Mary and I for our half. The property would be co-owned and co-managed.

Despite going over budget and some grumblings over a lack of living space, the experience was a positive one and the project a success. It demonstrates how much more can be achieved by pooling resources and sharing responsibilities. It is an example of a small scale values-based alternative to conventional home ownership where do-it-yourself meets working in community. c

The lower floor is a bachelor apartment for Peter and Carolyn. It is small for a couple (375 ft2), but they own a second house in rural Nova Scotia where they go on weekends and to which they will eventually retire, so it meets their present needs. Above is a one bedroom apartment (750 ft2) over two storeys. In both units every measure was taken to maximize the use of space. Ample daylight breathes much life to the rooms and keeps things from feeling too cramped. A badly built back addition was removed except for the parts that could be reconfigured into deck space, a privacy screen and bicycle barn (our common house!).

sc o t t do n o v an

We found a little house in Halifax’s north end, derelict, abandoned and listed as a ‘contractor’s special’. The original foundation and frame of the circa 1910 house was kept, and the interior was fully stripped. Refuse materials were sorted and recycled at a construction debris depot. A pitched roof was added to the existing flat roof to make a third storey without disrupting the strong horizontal soffit lines of the streetscape. The house was refitted with insulation, new windows and mechanical systems, bringing it to a relatively high standard of energy efficiency.

Scott Donovan studied architecture in Halifax and practices housing design there.

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ca rmon sh irra s

lost and found | collective memory and the suburban house of cards

steven smyth


increased pressure on existing communities and even greater pressure on the landscape for neighbourhoods yet to be realized. Through the housing viewfinder the vision is that of a cultural, social and physical disconnection between reality and the world that most of us try to live in, where a manufactured utopia is driven by the bottom-line and where ignorance carries no consequence. The cities we live in speak of this, with our attitudes, neighbourhoods and houses providing the evidence.

ities have long memories held in their streets and structures. In early 2005 the City of Edmonton announced that its population was over a million. Viewed as a positive development, it nonetheless raises some concern about how we will look after the next million residents. Here are two tales: one the story of an Edmonton inner city neighbourhood on the verge of big things, and the other, a small condominium renovation that is a part of this urban regeneration. Street life is vibrant, rich, occasionally ugly in this neighbourhood; no attempts are made to blur this reality. The Avenue of Nations, 107th, anchors the north edge of Edmonton’s downtown, with a multitude of services from schools, hospitals and restaurants from all corners of the globe, to massage parlours and liquor stores. There is increasing development pressure on this community. Failure to recognise its architecture and design will undoubtedly destroy one of the few real, vibrant communities left in the city.

A fortunate side effect of the craft of building is that once constructed, a building will last at least one lifetime. The same can be said of streets and neighbourhoods. This longevity retains the social and cultural qualities of neighbourhoods made when there was pleasure in a walk, when a community was a source of pride and inspiration rather than a place to compare merchandise. These places, the forgotten inner city neighbourhoods, give us the opportunity to re-learn what has been forgotten in our haste to house — how to build simply and allow for complexity, where places for people are rich and diverse rather than gentrified and stagnant.

c ar m o n sh ir ra s

The other side of the story is that 15,000 new housing starts have taken place here in the last three years. This is not an unfamiliar context; the influx of new neighbours puts


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Urban environments offer benefits beyond short commutes and a smaller environmental footprint — there are other reasons for people to migrate to cities. The international population around the Avenue of Nations remains true to these urban roots. A street life thrives at all hours. From the window of a passing car the image is of urban grit — the reason sheltered suburbanites leave the city, however a walk down the street reveals something very different — people engaged in conversations, strangers smiling and the constant entertainment of road rage as people rush past to wherever they may be going. Back alleys look servicable; storefronts are unpretentious; the street defines the space and buildings and people animate that space. Reality and clarity of purpose are everywhere. Drawing on its surroundings, the condominium building at 10743 107th Avenue strengthens and further defines this context. Built in 1982 and designed by Edmonton architect, Wayne Scott, its location and tectonic expression provide great bones for a renovation project.

ca rmon sh irra s

The tight site called for long, narrow suites. With an advantageous east/west orientation we organised our living spaces so we rise with the early morning sun and see the evening sun as day turns to night. The outside is pulled into the building through open decks and large windows, attaching us to time and place as light and volumes change with the passing hours and the changing seasons. The new colour and material palette reflect the character of the building and enhance the daylight within the spaces. Blemishes are not masked with mouldings, materials are finished to both reveal and celebrate their character, not made to look like something else. The arcade of mature maple trees gives us solar shading in the summer and defines the space of the street while infusing green life into the city. When experienced together none of this seems arbitrary, contrived or banal.

environmental elements of the city. These experiences should also inform an awareness of reality, anchored in time and to a place. We are fortunate to inhabit an incredibly unique and beautiful place on the planet. Our homes, streets and cities should commemorate and connect us to the reality of this. The design community can not afford to remain silent, we must begin to involve ourselves within our communities as they grow. The leadership role is wide open and now is the time to think big. The possibilities for greater awareness of the issues are upon us, people are ready to listen and are looking for something better. As Edmonton and Alberta mark their first century of place, it is time we began to consider the legacy and story our housing will leave on the landscape. c

c a rm o n s h irr as

For many their home will form the basis of the most intimate relationship they will have with a building.

c ar m o n sh ir ra s

For many their home will form the basis of the most intimate relationship they will have with a building. The street in front will be the playground and will shape the child’s comprehension of the social, cultural and

Carmon Shirras is a freelance photographer. Steven Smyth is a designer with Manasc Isaac Architects. Both are past executive board members of the Media, Art and Design Exposed (M.A.D.E.) in Edmonton Society and have lived on the Avenue of Nations for several years.

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rainscreens | rainforest

Nanaimo Youth Housing, Nanaimo BC

d a vi d p oi ron

david poiron

window sill flashing with a turned up water dam and self-adhesive membrane below. The metal flashing forms the first line of defense against moisture penetration, while the membrane forms the second. The membrane is embedded with a fiberglass scrim that helps hold the membrane together when the surface temperature of the dark flashing increases during direct summer exposure.

— ongoing maintenance of a building is critical to ensure the longevity of a building’s envelope —


t the Nanaimo Youth Housing (NYH) project in Nanaimo, British Columbia, the young residents of the building are part of the maintenance crew, helping to keep the building and property clean, and through their continuing surveillance of the exterior of the building, in top physical shape. If signs of any kind of failure develop, it is spotted and brought to the resident manager’s attention for action.


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The NYH project was funded by the British Columbia Housing Management Commission, one of the only provincially funded housing agencies left in Canada. The sponsor, the Nanaimo Youth Services Association, manages the project with a resident manager. As well as housing youth-at-risk between 16 and 19 (including single parents), NYH has an on-site office for a full time social worker, a computer room, a resident lounge, laundry facilities and outdoor recreation areas for residents and their children.

The performance of the building envelope was a major consideration in light of the leaky condo crisis which still afflicts all manner of buildings on the south coast of British Columbia and stems, in part, from a lack of detailing of building envelope elements, poor implementation of details on site and a lack of ongoing maintenance of the building’s envelope. Face-sealed technology, especially using stucco cladding, represents the majority of building envelope failures, and is largely inappropriate for a rain forest environment.

Increasingly, rainscreen systems are being used where an airspace is put behind the cladding. This has been used in brick veneer construction for years, allowing moisture that penetrates the outside skin (through capillary action, wind pressure, or other means) to evaporate or otherwise escape. Because of the airspace, wind pressure on the cladding is equalized, preventing moisture from being blown onto the substrate behind the cladding. A double line of defence against moisture is made: the cladding and airspace forms the first line of defence, the building paper and sheathing behind the airspace form the second. Excess moisture escapes through weep-holes at the bottom of the airspace cavity at each floor level. When these holes in the rainscreen system that let water to escape are zealously caulked by maintenance crews used to face-sealed systems, moisture is trapped and probable decay ensues. Everyone involved with the ongoing care of the building should be taught how rainscreen systems work to understand how to properly maintain them.

The Nanaimo Youth Housing project is clad in fibre-cement horizontal siding and acrylic stucco. Both surfaces were set onto a similar rainscreen base of exterior plywood sheathing, two layers of ‘30 minute’ asphaltimpregnated building paper (lapped like shingles to shed moisture) and 1x4 pressure treated vertical wood strapping. The wood strapping creates a 3/4” air cavity behind the cladding and allows for the fastening of the cladding system. For stucco, a material that is only semi-solid when applied, a further step is needed before application. Spanning the strapping, an asphalt impregnated fiberglass board provides a firm substrate upon which to apply the wire mesh and stucco. Although a rainscreen system is designed to handle moisture penetration of the building envelope, it is still preferable to keep water outside the envelope. Junctions between materials are potential spots for infiltration — properly lapped materials allow water to drain away from the building envelope. All horizontal surfaces should have some degree of slope to shed water, and roof overhangs prevent rain from reaching trouble-prone areas of the building envelope where there are many junctions or envelope penetrations. These all help the building envelope perform properly during the full extent of its designed service life. c

da v id p o iro n

A face-sealed building is literally sealed at the outside face, using caulking to seal all exterior penetrations and other potential avenues for water ingress. Problems occur if these caulked areas fail, allowing water through the building envelope. If there are no paths for moisture to leave the envelope, it accumulates leading to mould and rot.

a section of the building envelope: flashing is inserted in the stucco cladding at each floor level to drain the wall cavity behind.

The NYH project was designed by Bas Smith, MAIBC and David Poiron, MAIBC, while David was an intern architect at Bas Smith Architect Inc. in Victoria. David now runs his own architectural firm, David Poiron Architect Inc. in Nanaimo.

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the elders duplex | Chisasibi, QuĂŠbec peter hargreaves


n the shores of James Bay, just inside the delta of the La Grande River, lies the Cree community of Chisasibi. Once a seasonal camp, then a trading post (Canniapiscau), and finally a small town with a population of 3,500, Chisasibi is the largest of the nine Cree villages in Northern Quebec.

In 1980 the village inhabitants were relocated from the island of Fort George. The enduring legacy of this relocation is overcrowding, and due to the rapid nature of the relocation, the site planning and building construction was substandard. The inhabitants have since suffered through season after season of sewer back-ups, mouldy wall cavities and build-up of thick crusts of ice within the ceiling plenum. While the provincial and federal governments must continue to fulfill their obligations, within the community seeds of local innovation are germinating. The housing shortage crisis in this community is most acute for the elderly. In response, the local housing administration requested proposals for housing prototypes suitable for elderly and physically challenged individuals, cared for by a live-in family member. One prototype was developed which can be adapted to fit specific site conditions and orientations. The prototype represents a permanent architecture that respects the traditions of the First Nations people. The architecture attempts to assuage the very difficult climatic conditions of the far north. The building is constructed in a manner that lessens the very high cost of construction in northern communities.

colour shows ‘two’ houses


typical floor plan showing the division of uses


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The building may be oriented in accordance with the street layout, however the plan always allows for an entrance facing east, according to tradition. The entry hall/mudroom of each home is a high, well lit, naturally ventilated space that can be used for traditional cooking, craft, equipment repair and drying of skins and meat. Each entry hall has a centrally placed wood-burning stove that distributes heat to the entire unit. The teepee is still very much a part of the

architectural reality of this community. The experience of entering the teepee by crouching and then standing in the high conical interior is one of compression and expansion. In the living units, this phenomenon is echoed in the procession from outside to inside, and between the living spaces within. This (feeling of ) expansion and compression delineates the public from private realms. The plans avoid the use of corridors. The central hall, between washroom, kitchen, and bedrooms is a multi-functional space for laundry, gallery and auxiliary kitchen space.

Frost Bite

b ox a rchi t ect ures

The buildings hug the ground on their northern faรงades, and rise on the south to pull from the sun all available energy. The building section uses the aerodynamics of a wing. The low pressure created by turbulence on the leeward edge of the ridge promotes the evacuation of air from the roof cavity. Lack of ventilation in the roof cavity is a primary failure of the first generation of houses built in the northern climes. These houses are heated using electric radiant floor heating providing heat directly to the body and warming the lower strata of the interior volume. An engineered floating hardwood floor provides both visual and physical warmth to the interior. The woodburning stove is an auxiliary heat source which serves an important tradition in the everyday lives of the Cree. The wall and ceiling compositions are designed to provide a thermal resistance of R-38 and R-60 respectively, and the perimeter of the building has an eight-foot horizontal skirt of six inch rigid insulation. This perimeter skirt provides frost protection to the slab by slowing down heat loss generated in the slab (radiant heating), and from natural isotherms rising from the Earth. The exercise of developing the elevations, with the help of the building section, was primarily driven by the need to maximize solar gain and promote natural ventilation, while reducing heat-loss and winter glare. Typical wall section

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b o x a rch ite ctu re s

the west façade during construction

the north face during the installation of the roof membrane

Technique Frost-protected foundations, a proven technology commonly used in northern Scandinavia, were used here for two reasons. With the rapid movement of groundwater in this region this type of foundation avoids trapping ground water against foundation walls which causes hydrostatic pressure and ultimately water penetration into the basement cavity. Avoiding water infiltration and the inevitable mould reduces the risk of what one local health official identified as the major cause of respiratory problems in the majority of children growing up in the community. Secondly, the slab-on-grade uses less material than the methods currently employed for foundation construction in this community. The cost of construction in northern communities is between 1.7 and 2.25 times greater than the cost of construction in Montreal. Research is underway examining the feasibility of using fabric formwork to further eliminate waste and the need for expensive plywood formwork. The wall and roof components were assembled in Victoriaville and shipped to the site, ensuring the reduction of waste, tight quality control and the use of a local workforce that assembles the parts on site. For the first building, members from the wall manufacturer were on hand to teach the methods of


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assembly. In winter conditions, an added benefit to prefabricated walls and roof is that a fully insulated shell may be assembled in a matter of days. Basements, useless spaces for northern site conditions, have been eliminated. The hope is that these principles will be applied to other housing types within the community. On a broad scale, the current layout of houses is a simplistic importation of patterns from southern communities. By borrowing the logic of old traditions for site planning, morphology, materials and technique, a new breed of housing might develop. The confines of the climate in this region will help enforce an architecture that is sustainable for the long term, and in accordance with the very noble civilisation that it shelters. c

Elders Duplex Prototype Client: Cree Nation of Chisasibi Louie Kanatawat, Director of Housing Architect: box architectures Isabelle Champagne, Peter Hargraves, Roger Shepherd, Patricia Sarrazin-Sullivan Engineers: Conseil Groupe Stavibel Contractors: CheeBee Construction Fermco Industries Inc. (Prefabrication) Soil Consultant: Monterval Inc.

study model of prototype for alternate orientation using the same plan

Peter Hargraves graduated with a Master of Architecture from the University of Oregon in 2000. He began working with box architectures one year after moving to Montreal in 2001. The ‘Northern Department’ of box architectures led by Isabelle Champagne is focused on research and development of sustainable, site sensitive architectural responses to the social needs of the northern communities. The architecture is a result of direct dialogue with the people who know the site best, in this case the people of the Cree Nation of Chisasibi.

casa dual | mazatlan ludens 2x1 una casa de retiro donde el cliente buscaba la comodidad de s casa en el df sin caer en una casa demasiado urana asi se generan dos volumenes volumen 1: solido, rigido, funcional volumen 2: organico, efimero, informal l ud ens

un juego donde los dos volumenes se invaden

Ivan Hernandez is a member of ludens, Mexico City.

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Thoughtful design and dozens of innovative green technologies results in a smaller impact on the environment of Banff National Park, a healthier indoor environment for occupants and lower operating costs for owners.

bison courtyand

the cost of being green | Banff Alberta Bison Courtyand + Cave Avenue Homes christie maclaren

cave avenue


t is often thought that green design and materials are more expensive than conventional building methods, and are used chiefly because they are earth-friendly and might pay for themselves, somewhere much further down the road, in lower energy costs. Peter Poole of ARCTOS in Banff, and two associates—architect Allison Ewing of William McDonough + Partners in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Brian Scott, director of technology and research at the Communitas Group in Edmonton—propose through two projects in Banff that green design can be costneutral, or even cheaper than conventional building.

Arctos & Bird Management is currently in construction with two multi-residential projects in the Banff townsite designed by noted environmental architectural firm William McDonough + Partners of Charlottesville, Virginia. The projects are new, architecturally, in Banff because of the strong built forms and environmental design.  They are also innovative legally, because Arctos & Bird has worked with the federal government to adapt the national park Leasehold & License of Occupation Regulations to allow for home ownership cooperatives, arguably a superior type of multi-residential property ownership than condominiums for the national parks. 24

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They identify three categories of green building features – with three different economic outcomes.

1. Materials or technologies that are pricier than conventional ones, and likely won’t produce a return on investment within a reasonable length of time, but are used chiefly for the good of the natural or human environment. Some key features of Bison Courtyard and Cave Avenue Homes fall into this category. Each development has an enormous cistern and plumbing that collects rainwater for use in toilets and for on site irrigation. The buildings will take less water from the municipal system, which gets it from the Bow River, so it means less pressure on the river. The cisterns will only pay for themselves in the very long haul, if municipal water and sewage costs were to rise substantially. ‘We think it’s the right thing to do’ says Poole ‘because the environmental constraint is the capacity of the Bow River’ to give water and receive sewage. For the same reason, Arctos & Bird has installed ultra-low-flush Caroma toilets from Australia, which are almost double the cost ($150-$200 more) of a conventional toilet, but which use a fraction of the water (3 to 6 litres, compared with 26 litres per flush). They are also making use of more costly composting toilets, and have installed a large industrial composter in the Bison Courtyard which will create rich soil for on-site landscaping. On Cave Avenue, the huge triple- or quadruple-glazed ventilated (to prevent moisture buildup) windows in the residential units are made by VisionWall. They cost 50 to 75 percent more than conventional doubleglazed, airtight windows but they won’t need replacing after 10 or 20 years; over the life of the building, they will pay for themselves. Both Banff projects use certified lumber from British Columbia for exterior cladding and other uses, at a premium of 10 to 25 per cent over conventional lumber. The payback is purely environmental; the fine-grain cedar is harvested sustainably and not from clearcuts, which diminish forest biodiversity and can harm watersheds.

2. Green features or technologies that are cost-neutral: they cost virtually the same as conventional features and are also better for the environment. Interiors use low-VOC paint—paint that emits fewer volatile organic compounds— which improves indoor air quality. Environmentally friendly paints are now widely available and competitive in cost with conventional paints. At Bison Courtyard, heating and cooling equipment and commercial appliances use natural gas, not electricity, after analysis indicated this will result in a bigger reduction in greenhouse gases. The overall cost is about the same as conventional mechanical equipment and it will help Arctos & Bird toward its goal of a 20 percent cut in greenhouse gases over previous uses of the site despite a 10,000 ft2 increase in floor space. The project’s retaining wall, exterior columns and landscaping all use rundlestone from the Bow Valley and supplied by a local quarry. It costs no more than comparable products, but the environment benefits because it isn’t trucked from afar. 3. Green products or technologies that are cheaper to purchase than conventional ones, and features integral to the building’s design that result in lower operating costs. Bison Courtyard uses concrete with a higher fly-ash content than usual. Cheaper than conventional concrete, it’s also more environmentally friendly and stronger. Retail spaces in the project are no more than 20 feet deep, with windows at each end. This reduces the need for electrical lights and heat during the day, and allows for the use of lower-wattage bulbs on overcast days. Similarly, windows in the residential units are placed to make the maximum use of available daylight, based on each unit’s orientation. In Cave Avenue, each open-concept unit is heated with a single gas fireplace and fan, eliminating the need for, and cost of, a furnace and ductwork. c Christie McLaren is a freelance writer and editor specializing in the environment and natural resources. She lives in Canmore, Alberta.

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south face, ponderosa pines at centre of site


n the foothills of the Andes, surrounded by Argentina’s most famous vineyards, lies the city of Mendoza. It was levelled in the 1860s by an earthquake and rebuilt following a master plan that is still in force, resulting in one of the most liveable cities I know. All buildings are built to the property line and form one or more interior courtyards; thus privacy, calm and even reasonably good air can be enjoyed by every dwelling, shop or office building. Street and private space are separated and each clearly defined. Entryways connect the two with a rich variety of gateways. This concept always made more sense to me than the typical North American house in the centre of a lot, with useless side yards, a windswept and noisy front yard, and a junkyard in the back. With the design of our own house in BC’s south Okanagan I played with this principle: a group of beautiful Ponderosa pines made it difficult to place a house in the centre of the site without


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cutting them down. We built a small village around them, breaking the building into four small pieces. The studio and the single garage form a gateway through which everyone must walk to reach the inner garden and the main building. Nobody can drive up and we surely don’t miss the sight of cars. The main house is built on a ridge of bedrock with splendid views of Okanagan Lake to the west and the tranquility of the sheltered garden to the east. The many saved Ponderosa pines on both sides of the building give shade and bird habitat, the afternoon lake breeze blowing through the house from west to east makes air conditioning unnecessary. The bedroom is a separate pavilion to the southeast. With the main house and the bedrock ridge it creates another, more intimate patio. Mature trees close to the northern border precluded closing it with building components, so we planted a dense forest of Russian Olives and will build a trellis for a big wisteria this year.

bedroom plaza, looking north

sustaining life | Naramata, BC florian maurer

guest room, west side

arawana place, site plan

north trellis trellis vegetables


single car garage access


ous ain h

lake view



ng pin


xeriscape garden






master bedroom

reeze lake b



be op




ng pin


fl or i a m ma urer

Here are a few thoughts that arose during the work on this project:

traditional zoning bylaws Novel concepts are not encouraged in a building culture with a prescriptive regulatory system. Achieving privacy through front, side and rear yards doesn’t work well unless development density is extremely, and unsustainably, low. I am not immune to rote and tradition, and I first had to be unhappy with many more conventional schemes before considering this solution. The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen was very helpful, approving the project without a variance as long as all setbacks were observed. I wonder

how much more convincing the scheme could have turned out without the completely useless 7.5m front yard — would the public interest have been violated? I can’t argue with the side yard in an existing setting, but new subdivisions could certainly do without them. The result would be greater privacy, yet higher density. I also wonder how much more diverse and interesting Canadian single family houses could be if rules would be less prescriptive and more performance driven.

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fl or i a m ma urer



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guest room window/door/deck/view

commonsense engineering

buildings that flow with the land

It took me 30 years of practising architecture and many mistakes to realize that there are things that work and things that don’t, and that no amount of artistic arguments will make them work. While form still follows function, the unlimited availability of building products and promises of their performance often made me forget that form also has to follow physics. On this house I took no chances: generously vented shed roofs, BIG roof overhangs (especially south!), rectangular floor plates, simple shapes, NO heated spaces under terraces (or reverse), no roof intersections, no complications whatsoever. Money saved was diverted to things of value: wonderful Italian tiles, in-floor heating, state-of-the-art glazing, exposed glulam structure.

No blasting, no logging, no remodelling of contours took place at our site. Native species were allowed to grow, lawn was avoided, existing trees were used to provide shade. The septic field is where drainage, soils and grade made it logical. A lot of money was saved and the buildings look like they have always been there. They flow with the land. Ten kilometres south of Penticton is a new subdivision called Heritage Hills, occupying a steep hillside of rock outcrops and bluffs. To accommodate cookie-cutter houses the developer blasted it to smithereens and pushed the debris into building pads. The wounds will not heal in a hundred years. I admit that ĂŚsthetic values are personal, but thriftiness and practicality should be objective. Why do revenue-motivated developers and builders not see the business sense of working with the land, instead of against it? Maybe the answer lies in...

west side, guest room, main living room

...the stranglehold of real estate on innovation In Canada a house is a commodity. People are worried about property values, not about how they would like to live. The business of real estate has created promises of successful sales and a corresponding catalogue of mandatory features. As absurd as this enforced sameness is in a society as heterogeneous as Canada’s, fear of reduced property values has turned this catalogue into a self-fulfilling prophecy— a nightmare of cheesiness, boredom and uniformity that is sold to us in ‘home plan’ catalogues and that we see when we cruise through our suburbs. Halfway through construction our house became, and still is, an attraction for the curious and people looking for property. Yes, many politely mentioned that it was different, but equally many seemed sincerely convinced by the quality of spaces, views, comfort and

office, south side

office and garage, east side

the æsthetics of the here and now beauty it affords. I just wonder what Canadian houses could look like if we, as a culture, did not always defer fulfillment and joy to the future, because it is ‘not the prudent thing to do right now’? I admit that cutting an 1850 square foot floor area into four fragments is neither prudent nor energy efficient. However, I offer the combined effects of minimum site disturbance, efficient passive solar balance between summer and winter, high efficiency glazing, abstinence from excessive size, unsustainable or toxic materials and systems (air conditioning!), to plead for mercy with my critics. We have lived in this house now one winter and one summer, and found it the most inspiring and healthy place we ever had. I am afraid this is not an argument we can quantify. Still I think the quest for sustainability should include the question: will this design make people happy?

Let me try this thought: if it wants to be art, architecture must say something about how we meet our human condition. To me, this means a struggle to forget the past as well as the future. Formal symbols just anchor me more to the collective misery of our past, so everyday I try to forget another chapter of history, particularly the history of arts and architecture. c

Florian Maurer, MAIBC, LEED AP, divides his time between Naramata, BC and Lana, Italy.

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p er ro roj o

clockwise from above: casa C-602 casa-24 casa negra

tres casas | perro rojo frida escobedo alejandro alarcรณn

perro rojo: alejandro alarcรณn fierro born in mexico city 5-dec-75 universidad iberoamericana architecture school currently doing a master in architecture design at UNAM frida escobedo lรณpez born in mexico city 16-oct-79 universidad iberoamericana architecture school

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solcab | experiment t for northern dwelling

his project started as an exploration of building in the north, to find a new interpretation of what a cabin in Alaska could be like.

klaus mayer

The site is located in Eagle River, Alaska where it is situated on the north side of the Meadow Canyon Valley, a glacial carving with beautiful views toward Anchorage and Cook Inlet to the south-west. The five-acre lot, with steep south facing exposure, is bordered by the Chugach State Park to the east. Winter winds have come through the valley with speeds of more than 100 mph.

m ay er s at t l e r- sm i t h

The siting of the building is derived from the topography of the land. The first floor is placed above the shadow line of Mount Gordon Lyon on the winter solstice to provide the maximum solar exposure throughout the year. Parking is at a lower elevation, and one


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The main structure of the house is an exposed paralam post and beam system. The wall enclosure is made of 2 x 8 timberstrand balloon framing that is not load bearing. This allows the wall openings to be chosen freely, evident in the sixteen south facing windows, including a 24’ by 10’ expanse across one room, and three tiny north facing windows. This framing system also allows the full use of cavities for insulation properties, especially in corner situations. All electrical installations are within interior walls in order to preserve the envelope. The wet areas of the house are concentrated in one bay, stacked above each other to minimize plumbing runs.

The floor plans are organized in a four bay grid of 12’ wide by 16’ deep, stretching the house east to west for a long true south exposure. The house is two stories tall, minimizing the footprint on the steep slope. All circulation within the house is aligned with the contours of the land, creating a 20-degree shift that extends beyond the exterior walls. The house rests on a poured concrete foundation with exposed retaining walls on the north of the first floor. When complemented by concrete floors on both levels, this gives the house plenty of mass to store short-term gains from solar exposure. The lower level is an open plan with the entry at the east down four steps, offering an area for the cold air to settle. The arrangement for kitchen, dining and living areas reflects the informal character of the house. From here can be seen the views to the south and

south-west, while the floor-to-ceiling glass blurs the transition between the inside and out. A six-foot square wooden cube intersects the west wall and is focussed on Mount Redoubt, an active volcano about 100 miles across Cook Inlet. This space offers intimate qualities contrasting with the adjacent openess. In this favored place one can take in distant winter sunsets or close foliage. The open stairs to the upper level lead to a suspended bridge with light pouring in from above the main roof level. This monitor light heightens the changing sun angle and intensity across the back wall, which is painted white like a canvas. At the highest point is a mechanical, operable window that facilitates natural ventilation through an attached thermostat. The upper level has an office, two bedrooms and bathing areas. A window ribbon at the top of the south wall draws light

m a y er sa t t le r-s m it h

goes eighty steps up to the entrance. This approach is orchestrated with landings and turns to offer varied views to the visitor while providing the occupants with the advantage to look out over wildlife and strangers.

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m ay er s at t l e r- sm i t h

into the rooms without creating a glare, while additional windows for egress are provided in each room. The bathing room has a tub placed against the exterior wall where one can lie in either direction and gaze through a low, narrow window, choosing a secluded view up the valley or a more animated view of the distant anchorage skyline. A separate toilet room is across the hall. Interior finishes are kept simple in the spirit of traditional cabin buildings and are chosen for their low maintenance qualities, a characteristic which is carried through to the exterior.


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The main body of the house is clad in corrugated metal panels which, when combined with the metal roof, provide for added protection against wildfires. The two exterior decks offer additional living spaces for the small house. The south deck projects out over the site, and the footprint mirrors the stairwell, which emerges on the north side of the house onto the slope. The deck is partly covered by a sun-shading device that also protects the

large south window. The upper level deck is off the master bedroom and offers a more private outdoor space. The structure and the roof that extends over the deck create a sense of protection while allowing a long view across the valley. It is also an ideal space to witness the aurora borealis on a cold winter night. c

klaus mayer is a partner with petra sattler-smith at the anchorage-based multi-disciplinary design firm of mayer sattler-smith. the focus of their work is to find contemporary expressions of climate, culture and technology for the built environment. klaus is currently a loeb fellow at harvard graduate school of design, where he is researching possibilities to establish a school of design in alaska. as president of the alaska design forum, since 1999, klaus has helped to bring international architects, artists and designers for lectures, workshops and exhibitions to alaska.

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y clients for this small vacation house were a classmate of mine from McGill University School of Architecture who now practices construction law, and his wife, a design professional. The couple has one teenage son and lives in Vancouver. For several summer holidays they camped on an undeveloped piece of family property not far from Mont Tremblant in the Laurentian hills north of Montreal. They were attracted by the beauty of its lakeside setting, by warm childhood memories and by the proximity of relatives and friends. When they decided to replace their tent with something more permanent on this property, they asked me to design it for them. With their combined background and expertise in design, they could have designed the small building themselves; instead, they chose to be clients — knowledgeable, sophisticated clients who know what they want. They asked for a house that fit the property that they loved, and gave me freedom to try to do that. For me, it turned out to be an exciting, creative collaboration. The property is almost entirely a hillside, steep and comparatively inhospitable along the waterfront except for a relatively narrow peninsula that juts out into the lake. A 50-foot water setback made the peninsula unbuildable, but a small saddle of land between the peninsula and hillside was able to accommodate a small house with a view of the lake. The peninsula forms two very intimate bays — one to the south, another to the west.

r ic h a rd wh it e

The house is 1515 ft2. Facing the south bay is a two-storey wood-frame section with dining room/kitchen, laundry, bathroom and a small bedroom on the ground floor. The second floor has two bedrooms and a bathroom. Facing the west bay is a one storey, post and beam-framed living room. Between the

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two flanking sections, along the axis of the peninsula, is a large wedge that marks the entry and contains a two-storey stairwell. The entrance door is on the northeast end of the wedge; a wood stove sits in the centre. The stair’s second floor landing bridges the wedge and is aligned with short corridors on both levels of the second storey. The wedge also contains the chimney which juts above the adjacent rooflines the way the peninsula juts into the lake. Terrace doors open off the kitchen/dining room and living room onto a deck, level with the top of the peninsula. Both flanks are sided with stained cedar on the exterior, clear basswood on the inside, and linoleum is used as flooring. The outside of the wedge is bush-hammered concrete block masonry; inside the walls are gypsum board with a small-grained stucco finish and painted the colour of the block veneer outside. The wedge floor is slate. For the two storey wing, 2 x 4 exterior frame walls contain batt insulation in the stud cavity plus 3” of rigid foam insulation applied as sheathing to provide a nominal thermal resistance value of R-33. Blown insulation in the attic roof space has a nominal thermal resistance of R-50. The exterior walls and roof of the post and beam section of the house are sheathed with Structural Insulated Panels with a nominal thermal insulation resistance value of R-38. High-performance windows are valued at R7. The wood stove is the primary heat source when the building is occupied. Foundations are extended deep enough below the frost depth so that the building will be unaffected by frost heave if unheated. The plumbing can be drained for similar purpose. A heat recovery ventilation system provides a high level of indoor air quality and dedicated make-up air is provided for the wood-burning stove.

été | lac manitou richard white

a propriété est située sur un terrain presque entièrement à flanc de colline qui, le long de la rive, est à pic et comparativement inhospitalier à l’exception d’une péninsule étroite qui s’avance dans le lac. Il fut impossible de construire une maison sur la petite péninsule à cause d’un retrait de cinquante pieds de l’eau mais un col entre la péninsule et la colline a permis l’érection d’une petite maison. Deux baies intemes, l’une au sud et l’autre à l’ouest, donnent à la péninsule une allure dramatique. Un petit plateau sure la péninsule offre un excellent panorama du lac. La maison a une surface de 1515 pi. ca. Une section de deux étages en charpente de bois fait face à la baie sud et comprend une salle à dîner/cuisine, une buanderie, une salle de bain et une petite chambre à coucher au rez-de-chaussée. Au premier étage on retrouve deux chambres à coucher et une salle de bain. Une section sans étage supérieur fait face à la baie ouest et contient un salon avec une charpente de poutres sur poteaux. Une section triangulaire, construite le long de l’axe de la péninsule, relie les deux premières. Elle sert d’entrée et contient une cage d’escalier et un poêle à bois. L’entrée est située au nord-est de la section centrale. Le palier de l’escalier s’étend sur toute la longueur de la section centrale et s’aligne avec les petits corridors situés sur les deux niveaux de la section à deux étages. La cheminée de la section centrale s’élance au-dessus des toits adjacents à la manière de la péninsule qui s’avance dans le lac. Une porte française dans la salle à dîner et une autre dans le salon donnent accès à un balcon situé au même niveau que le haut de la péninsule. Une structure extérieure est prévue.

Les murs extérieurs des deux ailes de la maison sont couverts de cèdre teint et on a utilisé du tilleul sur les murs intérieurs et du linoléum sur les planchers. L’extérieur de la section centrale est recouvert de maçonnerie en bloc de béton avec surface piquée. À l’intérieur on y retrouve des murs de panneaux de gypse avec un fini d’enduit fin qui est peint de la même couleur que l’extérieur. Le plancher de cette section est d’ardoise. Les poteaux des murs extérieurs de la section à deux étages sont en 2 sur 4. Une combinaison d’isolant en natte entre les poteaux et un revêtement de 3 po. d’isolant en panneaux rigides confèrent une valeur de résistance thermique de R-33. Le grenier est isolé à l’aide d’isolation soufflé d’une valeur de résistance thermique de R-50. Les murs extérieurs et le toit de la section du salon sont revêtus de les panneaux isolants SIP (structural insulated panels) avec une valeur de résistance thermique de R-38. Les fenêtres à haute performance ont une valeur de résistance thermique de R-7. La source principale de chaleur est le poêle à bois lorsque la maison est occupée. Les fondations s’enfoncent au-dessous de la ligne de gel assurant une protection contre tout soulèvement si la maison est laissée sans chauffage. La plomberie peut être vidée afin de la protéger contre le gel. Un système de ventilation et de recouvrement de la chaleur assure une haute qualité de l’air intérieur et alimente aussi le poêle à bois. c

Architect: Richard White Architect, Pakenham, Ontario Quebec architect of record : David Covo Architecte, Montréal, Québec Structural: Cleland Jardine Engineering Kanata, Ontario Builder: ST Construction, Morin Heights, Québec

ric ha rd w hi te


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Nearly all housing stock is based on universally useless design myths that misinform the spaces we inhabit. The waste of resources expended on redundant and overly specific spaces baffles me.

losing rooms | gaining space

paul whelan

We need better design in our world of increasing consumption of diminishing resources. Too often residential design is based on false axioms. A classic example is the marketing fascination with eating and hygiene whereby many houses have multiple eating areas coupled with multiple bathrooms. Valuable space is devoted to incredibly specific activities while our homes accommodate fewer people on a per-unit basis. In our world of unsupportable consumption of diminishing resources, I propose that less specific design can provide the spaciousness and flexibility our housing needs to support a wider range of occupancy styles. 1: (left) aerial view with newer 60s suburb to the west and the Humber River in the bottom left. 2: original house, front. 3: 8’ addition: corner windows erode the sense of enclosure along the addition wall and provide oblique views up the street and into the forest. 4: (right) at the back, the new cladding extends over the face of the existing brick to visually blur the relationship between the original house and the addition.

the Valley

the Column

The Magwood House is in a valley neighbourhood bordering the Humber River on the western edge of Toronto’s inter-war suburbs. This area was intensively cultivated as market gardens until Hurricane Hazel flooded it in 1954; the resulting financial vacuum corresponded with a need for more housing, which was built following a post-war suburban planning paradigm —new three-bedroom semidetached brick houses of just over 1,000 ft2 of an unforgiving specificity. Each house has all the requisite rooms, yet each room is too small to truly accommodate its designated use and too specific to flexibly accommodate the wide needs of today’s families. Paradoxically these houses were built on larger lots than the bigger houses of the adjacent neighbourhood.

The original exterior bearing wall has been removed and replaced by a beam with a midspan fir post salvaged from a family cottage north of Toronto. The rough-hewn column loosely defines the overlapping intersections between dining, kitchen and living and provides a strong material presence in the middle of the space.

the Simple Story The Craig-Stakaruk family needed more space — their small house and its small rooms could no longer meet the needs of two growing hockey kids. The simple answer was an economical and straightforward 8 foot wide side addition to increase the overall area to 1,500 ft2. Both floors were reconfigured to create open and flexible space.


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the Ceiling In openly planned spaces, ceilings offer an uncluttered opportunity to express spatial organisation. The slight drop in ceiling height between new and existing ceilings extends well past the fir column and blurs the junction between the addition and the original house. The lower ceiling is not connected to the exterior walls: the resulting slot conceals lighting and window blinds. Over the continuous cast-concrete kitchen counter a series of parallel lighting slots adds visual interest and light to the food preparation area.

the Cladding All the windows were left-overs in a wide variety of sizes stockpiled at the manufacturer’s warehouse. Cladding is an inexpensive

cement board applied in an interlocking and random pattern to accommodate the range of window sizes.

the Second Floor The second floor takes a run at conventional wisdom by converting a three-bedroom house into two bedrooms (of course the simple addition of a wall and door can correct this marketing faux pas). The bedrooms are placed in the new addition leaving the rest of the second floor as a family room large enough for floor hockey, computers, books, TV and seating.

Sweat Equity and the Environment To maximise the floor area and defer some costs, the owners did much of the work themselves, installing the wood floors, stone tile and trim, and painting the exterior and interior. Many of the design decisions were driven by the owners’ strong commitment to the environment. Recycled products and reused products were used as much as possible – often at great inconvenience and minimal financial advantage.

ra n dy du bé r a nd y d ub é

Valley Learnings This addition and renovation is specific to this one family, yet applicable for the entire neighbourhood of similar structures where a wider lot is coupled with a limiting housing type. There is a wide range of opportunities to improve this housing’s flexibility for both extended single family occupancies or stacked housing flats. As Toronto’s growth is reigned-in by its unsustainability, there will be a greater need to re-examine the closein suburbs of the mid-twentieth century in terms of densification and adaptability. c

ground floor: old and new

second floor: old and new

Vital Stats Owners: Karen Stakaruk & Duncan Craig Architect: Paul Whelan with Robert Allen Structural Engineer: Blackwell Engineering Contractor: Imeneo Construction Kitchen Counter: Luscious Concrete Windows: Ferrar Wilde Original Floor Area: 1,050 sq ft Expanded Floor Area: 1,500 sq ft Construction Cost: $50,000 pa ul wh e la n

Paul Whelan is a graduate of University of Waterloo School of Architecture and currently lives in Toronto where he is responsible for an assortment of buildings and interiors.

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d a n hea t on

site | materials dan heaton This house is a shelter as well as a container for an extensive collection of books, art and furniture from around the world. The Gobles, raised in Southern Alberta, have spent twenty years living on the Atlantic, returning ‘home’ every summer. They appreciate the difference between vernacular forms of the west and regional architecture of the Maritimes and asked for a regionally responsive design for a site at the base of the rugged mountains of Waterton Lakes National Park on the gently rolling landscape of the Alberta foothills.


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he Goble house is set between the town of Mountain View and the Waterton Lakes park gates. Approach is by a semi-private road through a treeless prairie landscape which winds around an irrigation pond for the vegetable garden, swimming and skating, and arrives at the house at the northernmost point of the two-hectare site.

da n h ea t on

The building plan developed from functional adjacencies and ordering. Spaces are strung out in a line from the most public to the most private and rooms look toward spectacular mountain and foothill views from the south to the west, fusing the movement of the sun with the time of use. The building tempers the harsh prairie environment, wraps around and is tucked into a natural rise of the site, thus protecting the vulnerable north building face from severe winter winds. Two totemic chimneys

are used to hinge the building mass visually. These gestures were then linked to vernacular agrarian building forms to produce a regionally recognisable architectural solution. The main entry on the southeast avoiding the powerful chinook winds from the west. Flanked by wing walls and a low roof, it embraces visitors. The entry sequence draws the eye through the foyer to the open volume of the main room. The living room, dining room and kitchen all look on Chief Mountain through floor-to-ceiling windows. housing | houses | house on|site on|site 13 13

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da n h e a ton

Project Team Owners: David and Hazel Goble Architects: Hirano and Heaton Architects, Lethbridge Daniel Heaton, Architect Stephen Deppisch, Design and Production Assistant Danny Kain and Paul Kurtz, Con struction Documents Structural Engineers: BCB Engineering, Lethbridge Brian Bute, P. Eng. Mechanical and Electrical Engineering: Mainstream Engineering, Lethbridge. William Mains, P. Eng. The master bedroom at the northwest end faces the setting sun and winter chinook arch cloud formations. The linear space of the library placed on the north side provides a convenient passage as well as diffuse clerestory light for reading. Extensive south glazing allows for passive solar gain in winter, but the large overhangs (1.8 to 3.6 metres deep) provide shade during the summer, reducing the amount of ventilation and cooling equipment. In-slab floor heating provides even and dust-free climate control.

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Material selection echoes the surrounding built environment of low-maintenance galvanized steel and anodized aluminum. The corrugated steel on the roofs and walls is typical of farm buildings throughout the area. The surface oxidizes to a neutral grey that is unobtrusive in the natural landscape. The owners are committed to maintaining the natural landscape without formal lawns or plantings. c

Daniel Heaton is a partner in the firm of Hirano and Heaton Architects in Lethbridge, Alberta. Daniel returned to his hometown of Lethbridge after completing his education at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, University of Lethbridge and his Master of Architecture degree at the University of Manitoba.

a house | de notre temps Vaillancourt-Normand Residence Ste-Catherine-de-Hatley, QuĂŠbec

c im a ise

jean-françois brosseau

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rigée au beau milieu d’un champ, sur l’emplacement des ruines d’une ferme, la résidence Vaillancourt-Normand domine le paysage environnant du petit village de Ste-Catherine-de-Hatley dans les Cantonsde-l’Est. Les points de vue sur les terres agricoles, le Mont-Orford et les lacs de Magog sont d’une beauté spectaculaire. Le site commandait donc une intervention digne de ses qualités : une architecture honnête et authentique. Volume simple et rectiligne, la résidence s’implante de toute sa longueur parallèlement aux vues et s’oriente dans le sens de la route de campagne menant au village. Les grandes baies vitrées ouvertes sur les champs procurent aux occupants l’impression de vivre au rythme des saisons et permettent un ensoleillement optimal. À l’extérieur, le verre et les tôles d’acier reflètent les nuages: la résidence s’enracine à la terre pour devenir miroir du ciel.

c i m ai se

La maison est une locomotive en marche survolant le paysage. Monté sur son assise de pierre taillée, le vaisseau de cèdre rouge couronné d’acier inoxydable parcourt le temps et l’espace. Des matériaux traditionnels issus des champs, de la terre et des forêts ont été utilisés selon le langage de l’architecture contemporaine : la résidence emprunte au passé pour définir le moment présent. Peutêtre aussi pour laisser à ceux de demain une représentation de la maison dans la prairie en 2004, loin du passéisme des styles anciens rappelant une époque qui n’est pas la nôtre.


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uilt in the middle of an agricultural field, over the ruins of an old farm, the Vaillancourt-Normand residence dominates the landscape of the small village of Ste-Catherine-de-Hatley in the Eastern Township region. Views of the fields, Mount Orford and the surrounding Magog lakes are spectacular. The site dictated an honest and authentic architectural intervention. A simple rectilinear volume that is oriented towards the road and parallel to the views, the large windows open up onto the surrounding fields and allow the owners to live in harmony with the seasons. The residence embeds itself in the landscape and the steel and glass façades act as a mirror of the elements.

c im a is e

The image of a moving locomotive overseeing the landscape well represents this residence. Erected on a quarried stone base, the red cedar facades are crowned by stainless steel elements. The traditional materials coming from the earth are used in a contemporary fashion. Stone and wood allow the residence to borrow from the past to define the actual setting and to remove ourselves from the traditional image of the little house in the prairie. c

Jean-François Brosseau completed his architecture degree in 1995 at Université Laval in Québec. He has worked for CIMAISE since then and is today a partner in the firm.

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the barber’s haircut | an architect’s home

three notions of architects’ relationship with housing joylyn teskey Politics of home amplified: where we live as definition of our architectural identity. Temporal depiction of architect as artist, practitioner, neighbour, family member. An inconclusive investigation of infinite domestic possibilities. 1. Architects borrowing houses, initiation.

2. Architects building houses, declaration.

Graduation affords decision of living like an adult. Jane Jacobs’ dreams meet winter walk-to-work reality.

Believing you have something to say, venture forth into the realm of the architect’s house. Simple declaration mired with philosophical debate. Only occasional dreams of History professor screaming reminder of moral obligation of architects.

Rent an apartment: investigate perfect partis for future house. Temporary oasis from critique by architectural friends, allows for accumulation of equity. Short term decision-making allows for irrational thinking: no laundry or closets, but the view! And that old fridge! Virgin attempts at place-making include frequent painting and rearranging of furniture . Buy a new (or nearly new) house: endure endless whispers of incompetence or insanity. Likely face shouts of selling out by your architect friends (secretly jealous of your rootedness.) If not blessed with designer spouse, face hours of negotiation in Home Depot, explaining why ‘pretty’ will not do. Cringe (in private) at the beigeness of your block; feel grateful for basement and yard for Rover to roam. Buy a condo: perpetually renovate in vain attempt to make your own. Seem very responsible to parents yet avoid childbearing question by moving to slightly seedy


nice sink, pity about the tub.

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neighbourhood. Walk to work, drive to Home Depot. Lust after Italian cabinets: settle for Ikea. Follow interior design friends to trade shows/secret sales. Constantly negotiate dreams with resale value. My own downtown condominium: perpetual bathroom renovation. Door to master bath’s tub closed in: parental labour, drywall purchased twice as ‘friendly neighbour’ steals from parking space. Handmade floor tile: bargain price (same with glass pedestal sink.) Faucet: bought on eBay, likely stolen, as no manufacturer identified in suspicious anonymous packaging. Sink pedestal: copying Kohler with Ikea butcher block. Toilet: installed by genius husband. Light fixture: to be determined, temporary bare bulb potential long-term solution. Total cost: $395. Total time: 8 months, still incomplete. Kitchen, flooring, master bath still to go. Owner sadly proud of state of affairs, wear as badge of honor.

Tear down an existing house: waste resources. Destroy history, yet gain old trees, existing neighbourhood. Face wrath of zoning board, historical preservation friends. Declare house either fabric or jewel, note displeasure of others with either decision. Go suburban: environmental implications of sprawl. Spend hours staring at fencing options, balance architectural implication of lattice. Negotiate architectural standards, design palace only to have sneaking suspicion your house still looks like everyone else’s. Find an affordable downtown lot: social implication of gentrification. Worry about state of local schools in time for future offspring: consider boarding school. Further guilt. Snobby friends, worried parents will not visit until crack house next door cleaned up.

x and y house, whitehorse

red barn, grey-green house, Edmonton

3. Architects claiming houses, negotiation Pioneer to the great wide open: selfejection from the life of the city. Dream of occupying village a la Brian MacKay-Lyons. Spend hours staring at security gates with that inviting feel. Wonder why friends refuse to visit in winter.

Being cautious of notion of newness, investigate existing house typology with integration of modern living. With house as laboratory, perpetual experimentation expected. On-going negotiation with spouse anticipated.

Jack Kobayashi’s X and Y House in Whitehorse: new duplex in Copper Ridge development outside the city. An architect’s duplex in a new suburb. Address: 22X and 22Y Olivine Place Owners: Wendy Donnithorne (22X) and Jack Kobayashi (22Y) Predominant siding material in Copper Ridge: vinyl. Siding on X and Y House: Hardiplank cementitious board. Predominant color of siding in Copper Ridge: baby blue, beige and white. Color of X and Y House: dark grey and blue. No double garage or peaked roof in sight. While impossible in any other city in the country, magically uncritical of others despite cut and paste nature of vinyl village.

Renovate the good stuff: the mid-century modern. Secretly dream of restoring a white picket American beauty, decorating with reams of silk. Immediately seek confession. Spend infinite Sunday afternoons at realtors’ open houses seeking diamond in the rough, with ridiculously low asking price. Invade the space of the builder: do so without being obnoxious. Study Housebrand in Calgary’s business plan; secretly acquire realtor’s license. Renovate own house: abandon effort out of exhaustion. Commend John Brown for energy and vision.

Husband and Wife Architects Carol Belanger and Naomi Minja’s new house: a house and a barn in posh Edmonton neighborhood. Red Barn: living/dining, kitchen, unfinished basement. Grey-Green House: bedrooms, bathrooms, access to sun porch, crawl space. Sinewy connection welcomes, divides, family porch on grade and private sunbaths above. Site accommodates inhabitable sculpture, prairie grasses. Archetypal notion of home blends with historic fabric. c

Joylyn Teskey graduated from Dalhousie School of Architecture and is an intern at Stantec in Edmonton.

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negotiating | homelessness shawn van sluys The story of Ana Rewakowicz and her inflatable room in downtown Lethbridge’s Galt Gardens offers an alternative, conceptual approach to housing while addressing social issues. Ana Rewakowicz addresses homelessness not only by bringing a nomadic or alternative form of housing into spaces associated with homelessness, but by opening a dialogue around architectural imprints, pliable skins, and enigmatic structures as they occupy a negotiated space. A l l im a ge s: A n a R e wako wic z, Tra v e l l in g wit h m y in f la ta ble ro o m , 2 0 0 1 , P e rf o rm a n c e a t t h e S o u t h e r n A l be rta A rt G a l le ry in G a l t G a rd e n s; O c to be r 5 , 2 0 0 4 . D igita l st il ls f ro m a vi de o -re c o rd in g by A n a R e wa k o wic z a n d V iv ia n H o dgso n .

Shawn Van Sluys studied art history and museum studies at The University of Lethbridge, and is currently the Public Relations Manager at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery. In 2002 he was the researcher for the exhibition and publication, Lethbridge Modern: Aspects of Architectural Modernism in Lethbridge from 1945-1970.


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against terrorism; from interventionist foreign policy to disaster response in third world countries; from the AIDS crisis in Africa to that in China. In this larger context, homelessness is merely one more issue caused by (and, perhaps, attempted to be corrected by) macro-level social trends, compounded by the personal characteristics of the homeless individual (financial distress, mental illness, drug abuse). It is the constant negotiation between these factors that is at the heart of the Galt Gardens as a negotiated space between macro-urban visions and micro-lives on the park bench.


xcept in deepest winter, Galt Gardens in downtown Lethbridge is ‘home’ to several homeless men and women. Photographs of the park when it was built in the 1910s show an idyllic setting with mothers pushing lacy prams and fathers in black suits, walking erect, waving jovially at families across the way. In the post-war 50s, the western flaneur gave way to utopian, modern, nuclear families filling the suburbs and only occasionally shopping downtown. The park became a desolate wind-blown space with a few lone strollers by day, and a cruising ground by night. Homelessness has become a concern in Lethbridge as the city moves to revitalize the downtown and Galt Gardens. This has threatened to displace the homeless people until a new homeless shelter is built. Now touted as the heart of the city, Galt Gardens has become a negotiated space between the homeless people and the downtown revitalization initiative as, once again, urban living becomes an alternative to sprawling suburbia.

The night of Tuesday, October 5, 2004 Ana Rewakowicz set up her inflatable room beside the Southern Alberta Art Gallery in Galt Gardens. In 2001, Rewakowicz took a rubber latex mold of a small room in her Montreal apartment, and constructed an external support system to inflate the entire piece. Her cross-Canada performance piece titled ‘Travelling with my inflatable room’ took her to different urban settings – local parks, plazas, parking lots – where she camped in her latex room. Moving and travelling from place to place, she became aware of empty rooms as spaces that resonate with stories and feelings and recall a fleeting sense of being located somewhere, but not belonging. As Tuesday night progressed, it became apparent that the room was more than a sleeping chamber. It formed a catalyst for much larger discussions of world issues between Ana, her travel companion Vivian, and myself – from North American obesity to the war

Homelessness implies the lack of an interior architectural imprint. Not necessarily desolate and poverty-stricken, a homeless person maintains a relationship with exteriors — walls, surfaces, and façades. As a literal architectural imprint, Ana Rewakowicz’s inflatable room upset the negotiated space of Galt Gardens. The imprint of the walls with their wood moldings, the ornamental detailing of the light fixture, and the grain of the hardwood floors formed a pliable skin, both revealing and distorting the imprint of a solid, urban interior space. The architectural imprint is both utopian modernism and Victorian romanticism; both elegant chandelier and shaded lamp; it is nauseous yellow wallpaper and painted hardwood floor; claustrophobic, enticing, even erotic. Metaphorically and literally distorted, the structure becomes enigmatic – it is both a home and a signifier of a house. It forms an interior space, but inevitably will deflate. It is the imprint of an urban apartment and a tent for a nomadic woman. It is pliable, flexible, and easily transported, but would one call it home? Pliability, flexibility, elasticity — constantly rearranging to form an enigmatic space — might save us when negotiation fails.

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stephanie white

ma t ta -cla rke

there is a crack, a crack in everything | it’s how the light gets in


or this issue on housing, I started to write about two things: a beautiful 2003 Phaidon book on Gordon Matta-Clark, New York artist who in 1974 sawed a house in half. Space was the solid: building material was simply the edges of it and deserved to be peeled, interrupted and sliced.

and unless sponsored by a corporation, environmental art remains small, subversive and ephemeral. [Christo’s The Gates in Central Park, witty when proposed in 1979, merely represents a triumph of 26 years of self-fundraising through the art market. But Christo is not my subject here.]

The other subject was a small 1970 83-unit housing project in east Calgary, part of a $200 million CMHC project to build innovative low cost housing across the country for families earning between $4,000 and $6,000 a year [today that would be $1 billion 48 million for the project, and income eligibility would be $21-31,000/year].

I read two critiques of Bruce Mau when his exhibition, Massive Change, in an unusual version of Canadian core-periphery relations, spent Fall 2004 in Vancouver before moving off to Toronto. One was by Hal Foster in Design and Crime (and other diatribes) [Verso 2003], the other was Mark Kingwell’s article ‘Interior Decoration; Politics as lifestyle accessory’ [Harper’s Magazine June 2001]. Foster retraces the conflation of culture and commodity from its modernist beginnings (hence his title) ultimately condemning those who embrace hybridity and its blurring of identities [viz. Mau] as predominantly neo-conservative. Kingwell wants critical selection not wild inclusion, and demands that we see the significance of Mau’s work as part of the ‘economy of appropriation’ built on maquiladoras and burning rainforests.

Matta-Clark’s Splitting and Calgary’s Residential Experimental Area No 3 both happened thirty years ago. Since, we have had a socio-economic revolution and are now assailed at every turn by arguments that art is commodity, if not advertising, and that homelessness has nothing to do with the removal of government interest in the housing sector and everything to do with cracks in the provision of social services. Looking back is not helpful. We will never again have a government with a one billion dollar national experimental housing project,

wh it e

Well, may be. I would say that Mau has leapt, bravely, into a messy, commodified, unfair,


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unkind present and is trying to swim in it with whatever that takes, and his critics are acting as sea anchors, examining the autobiographies of the present to find where it all went wrong. This is, in a way, as useless as writing an article on the 1970 20’ x 20’ splitlevel row houses with front and back yards at 15 units/acre built for low income people to buy, and hoping that someone will say — Right! Let’s try that one again! Brave as it was, we now work in a different economy, with different expectations, in a different time. If we don’t appear to learn from history, it is because the present is so different and so accessible, not through a great effort of empathy with the past but simply by being here, now. We must look at it with, if not bravery, at least bravado. Rather as did Gordon MattaClark, as did the Canadian government, once. c above: Splitting. Gordon Matta-Clark. London: Phaidon 2003. below: Innovative Housing Project, Penbrooke, Calgary 1970. title: Leonard Cohen ‘Anthem’ The Future 1992. Stephanie White is editor of On Site and would like to take a sawsall to the house she is currently working on.

real places: parc la fontaine, montréal québec darrel ronald


he Charestville Bidonville is a protest installation in response to the funding cuts to the student loans and bursaries program of the Province of Québec. There are currently 185,000 students on strike in Québec protesting the cuts which were put into effect on March 30 2004, by Jean Charest’s Liberal Party of Quebec. After a year of diplomacy, students have now resorted to a massive strike, which has been going on for a month or so. Just this week (early April), some students have returned to school, while others continue to protest, with marches every day. This protest installation in Parc LaFontaine here in Montréal, the Charestville Bidonville, was put together by planning, landscape and architecture students about two weeks ago. They had local media coverage, an entire narrative/spectacle of ‘cutting the ribbon’ to open the shantytown, and even a press communiqué. This series of photos is by Monica Gaudet. c

Darrel Ronald is a graduating master’s architecture student at McGill, and has just won second prize in the 2005 ACSA student competition, which can be seen at

80% 1.5 BWR ND

on|site AT WOR K







Canada $7.50 Mexico 50MXN USA $9US Australia $9AUD UK £3.50 Europe e5

martin ruiz de azua


perro rojo


7-72006-86228-8 01

in this issue: Michael Barton | the sami gumma | Finnmark Norway Ron Isaac | change and fit | molo and Bilodeau Tonkao Panin | TEN | Bangkok Thailand Scott Donovan | collaborations | Halifax NS Steve Smyth | city v suburbia | Edmonton Alberta David Poiron | rainscreen detail | Nanaimo BC Peter Hargreaves | elders duplex | Chisasibi Québec Ludens | casa duo | Mazatlan Mexico Christie Maclaren | Green | Banff Alberta Florian Maurer | bye laws | Naramata BC Perro Rojo | 3 houses | Mexico City Mexico Klaus Mayer | solcab | Alaska Richard White | interrupted sites | Lac Manitou Québec Dan Heaton | material vernacular | Waterton Alberta Paul Whelan| fugitive pieces | west Toronto Ontario Cimaise | farmhouse | Ste-Catherine-de-Hatley Québec Joylyn Teskey | barber’s haircut | Edmonton and north Shawn Van Sluys | Ana Rewakowicz | Lethbridge Alberta Stephanie White | on bravery

on site13 : housing | houses | house  
on site13 : housing | houses | house  

a survey of new work from Bangkok to Quebec to Finland