Nestled

2016
Competition Entry
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An interlaced duplex designed for the
2016 Edmonton Infill Design Competition

The Edmonton Infill Design Competition intended to create a dialogue of public development and community building in Edmonton. The competition itself did not dictate a specific site for its submissions, but rather, gave examples of a typical neighbourhood in Edmonton for proposals. Proposals designed for generic sites, intended for adaptability in many different conditions across the city. The competition provided four scenarios: to build a carriage house for an existing home, to split the site in two to create a pair microhomes, to demolish the existing house and create a semi-detached, or to overtake a neighbouring yard for an ‘open scenario.’

The design implemented the semi-detached condition; the result, however, changed the idea of a traditional semi. The notion of a typical, mirrored semi-detached, do not address the conditions of different families; therefore the proposal sought to cradle two different types of units together, whilst providing shared outdoor spaces to encourage interaction between the units. The result of the design was a larger unit and one smaller one, ‘nestled’ into one another.

The design intended to share its outdoors spaces, such as the private entry courtyard, as well as its front and back yards; a notion driving the initial design of the plan. Inspired by private house designs of Shim-Sutcliffe and Frank Lloyd Wright, Nestled borrowed the private and choreographed quality of those designs. The ‘Left’ unit is a three-bedroom, two-storey house with a front study/guest-suite and a living room looking out to the rear-yard. The ‘Right’ unit, is a one-story, two-bedroom unit with a study that can be converted into a third bedroom if the time requires it.

The upper floor of the ‘Left’ bridges the courtyard as a divider between the shared and private spaces within the unit. Facing the front of the house is the shared bathroom and the lounge, with the master suite placed at the end; all bedrooms overlook the extended green roof, retaining privacy from the shared yards below.

The basements separate into their respective units. The ‘Right’ unit includes a finished media room, while the ‘Left’ does not. The intention to include a furnished area for the ‘Left’ unit and not the ‘Right’ was due to the limited entertainment space in the two-bedroom unit.

The sections highlight the striated nature of living conditions between the two units. Gathering spaces are important in the design, and they are on every floor of the design. Nestled encourages interaction within each unit as well as between the two.

The main living rooms of the two units sink downward to create a greater ceiling height. A grander appeal and experience was its intention. The lowered level also provides a progression into the space.

A fully glazed corridor on the ‘Left’ unit intends to bring light into the upper floor communal spaces, but its design is to create a sense of lightness in the circulation areas. However, the frosted, outermost glazed wall veils and protects its residents from its outermost neighbours.

Nestled is intended to create a relationship between two families of different conditions. Due to the homogeny of suburban living, many families are of the same organisation and appearance, leaving little interaction between different demographic and socio-economic groups in their environments. Nestled’s shared outdoor spaces, combined with its differing unit sizes encourage the meshing of these differing groups, to create dynamic communities, and bringing people together.

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© Dennis Tang 2017