A Narrow Home That Keeps Its “Eyes On The Street”
thirdstone inc. designed this contemporary home on a very narrow lot, in Edmonton, Canada.
The project description from thirdstone inc.
Built on an elfin 25′ x 140’ infill lot, this affordable modern house was designed as a two-storey in order to make best use of the narrow site. The transparency of the front facade encourages ‘eyes on the street’ and active engagement with neighbours while providing a sense of belonging to the community.
Comprised of main living spaces on the ground level, a narrow enclosed link containing a hallway, half-bath and rear closet, connects the main house to the single car garage off the back lane. This arrangement forms a ‘U’ configuration creating an intimate and private outdoor south-facing courtyard.
The Dining Room opens to the outdoors by way of a folding glass wall system. Both the Main level and the Courtyard are at the same finish grade for ease of accessibility and to effortlessly extend inside activities outdoors. Glass walls ensure excellent visibility to the front garden and rear enclosed courtyard.
This development responds constructively and logically to its unique and challenging property size – from the neighbouring site conditions, to the existing mature vegetation, the streetscape and to the community as a whole. By fostering infill development, including narrow sites, it increases population levels to support the retention of inner-core neighbourhood schools and to make more efficient use of existing infrastructure and community facilities.
To maintain affordability, materials incorporated in the project consisted of standard building materials which were applied in a unique manner. 4’x10’ fibre-cement panels were ‘ripped’ and installed using standard lap siding techniques. Cedar planks were used to highlight architectural details of the house and installed using ‘rain-screen’ principles. This resulted in a distinctive appearance yet it was accomplished using affordable ‘standard’ materials.
While recognizing the potential to work with the solar angles and direction of prevailing breezes, we sought to take advantage of the narrowness of the structure by applying sustainable design strategies to minimize energy consumption through passive design.
Rooms are able to capture sun light due to the design’s east-west orientation. Design considerations included working with solar angles, placement of windows, the direction of the prevailing breezes and cross and stack ventilation to maintain a comfortable natural indoor climate.
The Second floor plan allows for space do be re-arranged to meet future needs of the family without expensive retrofits and renovations. This means a long term commitment, to the neighbourhood and lasting investment in a family dwelling that will be appreciated for a lifetime.