Collective Housing in the City: Garden Courtyard Apartments

Collective Housing in the City: Garden Courtyard Apartments

This Project introduces new spatial models for living together that offers direct involvement by the residents in the production and control of their space. The urban narratives of cultural and physical landforms come together in a shared landscape of garden courtyards, new pedestrian streets, parks and public spaces. These spaces are in turn fully connected to the expanded context of the larger neighbourhood and city, linking to a reinvented space characterized by new urban form and place mixity. A new spatial model has been developed to identify wider roles and functions for individual households within multiple apartment configurations – groupings – around the open space courtyard typology.

Sponge Landscapes

Numerous relational categories of community organization, qualities and quantities of things and formations of residential amenities contrast with an approach to sponge infrastructure. The very material surfaces that underlie the new central park and central square rethink the street, not only about what happens above in terms of landscape and urban design treatments, but more fundamentally what happens to the surface below.

Notwithstanding Vancouver’s Lost Creeks Initiative of recovery, this project proposes an invisible waterway, a “sponge” phenomenon – an instrument of absorbing, holding and directing water. The sponge terrain exploits the park and interconnected courtyards and linkages as an infrastructure that captures water, emulating the role of watershed. The open rain gardens along the pedestrian streets would feed into a structured technology of various absorbent strata. This layered technology below grade contrasts with the treed plinth landforms that create the surface of the central linear park.

The shade trellis crosses into and through the linear park, and provides shelter from sun and rain. The trellis also becomes a bridge-like passage across the porous sponge matrix of materials, both hard surface and soft surface, gardens, and event spaces. The sculptural plinths epitomize a new artificial landform in a mix of natural, cultural and artificial settings, never recovering the former eradicated landscape. The plinths introduce new means of appropriating spaces and encouraging more imaginative uses than the traditional and often repeated park repertoires of bench, lamp post, tree. While not rejecting those elements, we are suggesting a more inventive repertoire for a reformulation of park / public space that is in sync with an intra-active agential realism in a time of climate change and the need for societal responsibility and intervention.

Competition Video

Competition Boards

Point Access Types: Combinatory Iterations

The various illustrated and expanded iterations of the garden courtyard apartment type illustrate its multiple scales of assembly and evolution. This linear type starts out by occupying one lot in various orientations, having an outside street face and a shared internal courtyard side. The type can exist autonomously at this stage as a unified entity. The type contacts all four boundaries of the original lot, creating two internal courtyard components. These courtyards, when mirrored with an accompanying symmetrical form, produces the full type version in which the full courtyard appears.