C & Partners reveals flexible housing to account for multiple generations in Toronto
With the high price of housing in Toronto’s central core making home ownership more and more difficult to attain, the City has responded by allowing existing residential lots to be severed resulting in two new freehold lots, doubling the number of homes. These homes will be built facing former rear access lanes that are indigenous to the core.
In response to this decision, C & Partners Architects has released details of its 'Generations' scheme. The project is located on a corner lot, approximately 42m x 48m, that has been demolished and bounded by a main street, a secondary street and a former access lane. The challenge is in maximising the density while maintaining the existing character and scale of the neighbourhood, maintaining a sense of community.
Each building can be configured in many ways. Initially it would be divided into three units, one owner occupied with two rental units. As the family expands the entire building can be taken up by the owner and, as the family ages, it can revert to two units with the elderly on the first floor.
A total of ten buildings are clustered around four small pedestrian / vehicular courts with a maximum of three buildings at each court. The homes themselves are designed with the environment in mind: making maximum use of natural light, incorporating recycled materials, and utilising energy efficient geothermal heating and cooling systems, rainwater collection, roof mounted solar panels and other sustainable energy solutions.
Outdoor spaces, large windows, multiple entries and interior courts all help promote visual and community relationships between common and public spaces. Sensitivity to both the context and environment is seen in several areas, such as the unique dialogue between the vernacular language of Victorian roofs and material palette and its contemporary response.