Urban Renewal

Winner in the Private Residential Design, Under 2500 sq. ft. Category

This older home, near the heart of the city, had been purchased by a young couple, intent on drawing out its true potential.

Both the back and front yards had been somewhat neglected by the previous owner and were neither welcoming, nor practically laid out.

The entrance to the house was the initial priority, as the existing random flagstone walk had been poorly constructed and was uneven and unsafe. The concrete front steps were also beginning to sink and separate from the house.

A new front walk and steps were designed to provide access from both the sidewalk and the driveway, and to create a slightly wider entrance to the driveway. The front gardens were completely overhauled, beginning with the removal of the large yew trees that were obscuring most of the façade and blocking light to the ease facing front windows. A small sitting area was created, surrounded by plantings that would provide both colour and some screening without completely blocking it off from the sidewalk.

The back yard was dominated by a 2 car garage that had begun to lean alarmingly and was due for demolition. The decision was made to replace the 2 car garage with a 1-1/2 car garage to allow for one car and storage for garbage cans, bicycles and garden tools. The extra space that was thus created in the yard was filled in with a new patio, made up of two sitting areas connected with a curving path surrounded by lush plantings. The side of the yard opposite the garage was canopied with large cedars that were retained, as they provided privacy from the taller building behind and to the side of the yard.

The final result reclaims the outdoor areas as living spaces and revitalizes the neglected gardens with plants more suited to the scale of the space and the growing conditions of the site.


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