Tamsin McMahon – The (Literal) Rise Of The Anti-Condo


Small-scale densification: Alternatives such as tiny laneway houses and ‘parasite’ buildings are popping up in lieu of big-box condos. (Curated Properties)

macleans.ca. July 2014Stacked on leafy buildings, floating above an alley: creative expressions of urban density are popping up in surprising places.

Intensification is the mantra of today’s North American urban planners. In Canada, that increased density has inevitably come in the form of a big-box condo. Douglas Coupland dubbed Vancouver “the City of Glass.” Toronto is building more condos than New York. For many, the condo is the only route to affordable downtown living. Architects and home buyers alike still love the charm of houses, but sky-high land prices have put an end to new single-family homes in our biggest cities.

Gary Eisen and Adam Ochshorn of Curated Properties have found a creative solution to that problem. They plan to construct a dozen high-end townhouses on top of a vacant 1950s municipal office on Dovercourt Road on Toronto’s west side. Rather than try to blend into the muted brick exterior of the original, the ultramodern two- and three-bedroom townhouses will be clad in metal panels, with large, deeply inset windows that hang over the roof of the office below, so that the development has the feel of neither a loft conversion nor a glass-walled condo.

Read more: http://www.macleans.ca/rise-of-the-anti-condo/