The Northshore Development Partnership Ltd asked architects and designers to design a variety of housing from flats above commercial, to attached townhouses and flats, to detached single family homes. The goal was the 21st Century contribution to seminal housing in the vein of the Georgian townhouse, the Victorian terraces, the Edwardian semis, or the garden city suburban villas.

We sought to celebrate the differences in living experiences. At the north edge of the site, there is a line of commercial space, so when residents return home from work or school they can pick up a paper, the milk, the cleaning, and/or the kids.  Above the commercial strip is a series of studio apartments.  Solar collectors on the roof supplement electrical use and pre-heat hot water for the units below.  Moving south toward the river, the homes take the form of interlocking units divided by smaller streets and walkways.  The interlocking system is organized along a series of utility cores forming the spine.  The utility cores collect rainwater from the roofs for reuse as grey water in appropriate plumbing fixtures and irrigation in the gardens.  Cars are allowed to penetrate the housing development, but they are excluded from the bike paths which are off limits to machines with engines.  These internal streets allow vehicular circulation into the site, so drop-offs are easy and deliveries manageable but most homes get a break from traffic.  South of the internal street the units begin to separate, forming modest individual homes each with its own utility core serving the same functions as the cores on the interlocking units.  Housing occupies a fairly flat plane on the site, sloping very gently down toward the river, but the intermediate walkways cascade down to the River Walk forming a grand set of stairs and ramps to the water.

Credits:  Ian Roll project designer while at Ryall Porter Sheridan Architects