In our last post, we discussed the first three projects we visited on the recent The Modern Architecture + Design Society Home Tour. The latter portion of our tour took us to the north west of the city. We went to St. Andrew's Heights, a neighbourhood blessed with amazing views and large lot sizes.
The NewGrowth House was an interesting contemporary design with an industrial feel, exemplified by the massive concrete walls of the house and the weathered corten steel fins used to tier the landscaping. We loved that the main architectural feature, the board-cast concrete wall, runs through the whole house and acts as a compass within the plan. The concrete on the interior was contrasted by the warmth of the dark walnut window frames. With it's front facing kitchen and dining space, the project captured light and views in the spaces most commonly inhabited by the residents.
We intentionally visited MBAC's house last and we wanted to end with a bang! Marc Boutin has always been one to push boundaries and create unique spaces, and we were not disappointed. The exterior features a factory-like corrugated metal siding paired with cedar tongue and groove. From the front, the house appears to be the size of a low-lying bungalow. However, once we stepped inside, we discovered that the grade quickly dropped down to the backyard and allowed for a full walk-out basement. The L-shaped house created a courtyard between it's two wings. The two-level elevations facing the courtyard were clad with full curtain walls spanning from the basement floor to the roof. Aluminum grating at the roof overhang shielded the space from direct sun without significantly limiting the views or light available to the spaces within. We appreciated the industrial and commercial materials used in a residential project; they were tempered with wood cladding and many delicate millwork details that kept the interior feeling intimate.
Overall, we were pleasantly surprised by many new design types and ideas that are starting to emerge in Calgary. We get the sense that local housing design is becoming a lot more sophisticated and bold. Here's to the future of residential!