We are excited and humbled to announce that we were named Designer of the Year at this year’s housing awards. This award comes as a result of the hard work and the dedication of all the members of our team and serves as a validation of our tireless effort. This is a special award for us because we are so committed to residential projects and the role that architecture can play in enhancing and redefining what is possible in the housing market.
So now that we’ve got this under our belt, just wait and see what we’ve got in mind for the next few years!
We were lucky enough to take home two awards at this year’s Greater Ottawa Homebuilders Association housing design awards. The 35th annual gala took place on October 20th and as you can see from the photo above, modesty could be checked at the door. We took home one award for our extensive renovation to a custom home on Soper Place. We were also fortunate enough to win the special achievement award of DESIGNER OF THE YEAR!!
We have been doing a lot of work on bigger buildings, but we also have quite a few low-rise infill projects in progress. These projects are 4 to 12 unit buildings that are at the scale of the existing street but provide much needed residential units to popular neighborhoods. Here are a few renderings we wanted to share with you.
We are preparing for an open-house presentation of a 7-Storey Multi-Unit Residential building we have designed in Hintonburg. There is some concern about building height, so this should be an interesting night. We will keep you posted. In the meantime, here is a rendering of the project.
Construction is about to begin on our latest Semi-Detached dwelling in Westboro. The builders are going to slug it out through the winter so that this project can hit the market in the late spring. More updates to come!
We are pleased to announce that Project1 Studio has won a GOHBA Housing Award for our custom home on Brennan Avenue!
We had a strong showing at this year's awards. Along with the win for contemporary custom home 2,401 - 3,500 sqft, we were also finalists in a number of other housing categories.
In addition to the housing categories, we were also finalists for the Special Achievement category of Designer of the Year. As relative new-comers to the GOHBA awards we were thrilled to be finalists in this category that features some of the most established designers in the city.
We are pleased to announce that our renovation of the Coconut Lagoon has won an Award of Merit in the 2017 City of Ottawa Urban Design Awards.
From the City of Ottawa Website (http://ottawa.ca/en/business/planning-and-development/urban-design-awards)
This project is a renovation to an existing mixed-use building with a popular restaurant on the ground floor. Among the more significant gestures in the design of the restaurant was the removal of the front balcony, which was supported by a number of columns and gave the building an unappealing presence on the street. The new design has allowed the building to have greater visibility from the street while providing increased soft landscaping at the pedestrian level. The masonry cladding provides an element of sophistication to the design and also gives a sense of permanence to the project. The building now looks and feels well built, like it will be an enduring element in the urban fabric of this part of the city.
A successful project situated in a less than cohesive neighbourhood that goes a step above. This small move can make a big impact and will hopefully have a ripple effect on the street; it is a transformative element to the street.
We are thrilled to announce that we have been named finalists in 5 categories in this years GOHBA housing awards! The categories nominations include Custom Urban Home less than 2,400 sqft and Custom Urban Home 2,401 - 3,500 sqft. We are also finalists for the Designer of the Year award. Award winners will be announced at the GOHBA Gala on October 21st.
Project1 Studio has completed the design of a new 7-Storey Multi-Unit residential building. More details to follow....
Project1 Studio authored an article on behalf of the Greater Ottawa Homebuilders Association on the importance of infill developments. This subject is an important one for us, as it is speaks to the value of architecture and its ability to affect change on our urban environment. You can find the link here:
If you don't want to follow the link, you can read the article below. We hope you enjoy (and let us know your thoughts!)
The Importance of Low Rise Infill Solutions
Development in existing neighborhoods has been a hot topic for quite some time. As long as there have been mature neighborhoods, there have been people looking to build new projects within them. This has led to countless discussions –some heated- about what should and should not be done, and as a result the city has been forced to respond with increasingly restrictive zoning regulations. Whatever your position with respect to the style of housing units being built, it is important to understand the social and urban benefits that low-density infill development brings to a neighborhood.
When we talk about low-density infill development, we are referring to new custom homes, semi-detached homes, and similar developments being built throughout the city. We all have an attachment to our neighborhoods and so it stands to reason that any change to what we are used to can be emotional and cause for concern. However, infill development should be encouraged because of the high value we place on our neighborhoods and communities.
While it is easy to think of our mature neighborhoods as being static, it is more accurate to think of them as being in a constant state of change. In some areas the change is gradual, while in others it is occurring at a surprisingly rapid rate. We are seeing this in Hintonburg and Mechanicsville, among other areas. But even older neighborhoods such as the Glebe or Old Ottawa South continue to evolve over time. And it is good that this is happening, because change is essential for maintaining active communities. We say this because change is proof of engagement, of having an interest and an opinion.
If we focus this line of thought on development, it becomes apparent that low-density infill plays a critical role in the urban fabric. While hundreds of smaller condominium units have been brought to market recently in higher density projects, these units are not of a sufficient size to allow for long term occupancy and rarely result in occupants who become involved with the local community. Low density infill on the other hand, offers a viable long term option for people looking for a home in an existing neighbourhood. Residents of these projects tend to live in them for much longer periods of time, and in so doing tend to become involved in their communities in one way or another.
Regardless of this, a portion of the population sees infill as an intrusion into their neighborhoods and among their complaints are the size of the developments and the style of the architecture. While some will feel that new buildings in older neighborhoods should mimic the style of the existing houses, we need to be cautious about the possibility of creating thematic or pseudo-historical projects that are being built to emulate a style of the past. Trying to build a copy can be a recipe for un-inspired design. We need to consider a mindset where new projects are respectful of the character of a neighborhood and use these cues to develop an architectural style that reflects modern values. Even the most highly protected heritage neighborhoods in the city are governed by regulations stating that new construction is to be “of its time”. We must be mindful of the neighbourhood context and ensure that its unique qualities are diligently included in the design of all infill buildings. When properly executed, this offers streetscapes with a rich tapestry of architectural styles with buildings that speak to the individuals that make up the whole, that speak of community.
When we consider infill at the level of urban design, the size and massing of an infill project is critical. Because these developments are typically built on existing vacant lots, or on lots that had a modest-sized house, a new build can have an imposing presence on the street. But these initial impressions need to be considered against a bigger picture urbanistically. Ottawa is a growing city, and growing cities need to allow for increases in density along with new housing typologies to foster their growth. And as with most North American cities, we must manage factors such as suburban growth and access to affordable housing. If density is kept low enough to create a scarcity for urban housing, the cost of these projects will drive people towards more affordable options in the suburbs. Likewise, access to affordable housing has become a big enough issue that the province is now promoting “inclusionary zoning” measures that seek to include affordable housing types in all forms of development. All of this points to a need to have a somewhat elevated level of density within our urban boundary. There are a number of examples that demonstrate how density can be designed in ways that meets a size requirement while being respectful of existing or mature neighborhood character.
When we speak of infill development, we are really talking about fostering a sense of community. This is the true value of mature neighborhoods and it an ethereal element that cannot be built. Infill becomes about adding something to the community, an element that will adjust the background of the neighborhoods of our city which have stood for decades and nudge them in a slightly different direction. They are a symbol of individuality, of uniqueness, of a cyclical change that is constantly in motion. These communities will never be the same, they will never look back, and that is something to be embraced.
Three of our projects have been named finalists in the 2016 Greater Ottawa Home Builders Housing awards. These projects include a custom infill house, a cottage in a rural setting and a three-unit rental building. These three projects demonstrate our capabilities to produce outstanding work across a wide range of project types and various construction budgets. (For example, our White Lake Cottage was built for just a little over $100 per square foot!)
We're excited to announce that we have been retained to design the renovation and addition of the Coconut Lagoon Restaurant! The proposed design will see the re-cladding of exterior of the existing building, adding natural materials with a modern architectural language. We will also be designing an addition to the restaurant along with the interior renovation of the existing restaurant. When the project is complete the building will stand as a reflection of the quality and innovation of the cuisine being served.
Construction of the first phase is underway, and the renovations will be complete for early spring 2017. The restaurant will stay open and fully functional during construction, and we will post construction photos as the project progresses.
Our ongoing desire to affect change in has taken another step as Project1 Studio is now a part of the newly formed GOHBA Urban Infill Committee. This committee with address a number of new and on going policy issues that have been mandated by the city. We feel that a number of new changes are putting undue strain on the development opportunities in our urban boundary and that this is making it more difficult for people to live down town. We are dedicated to improving our city and while we prefer to focus our efforts on architecture, this committee presents a real opportunity to reform development at the policy level. We look forward to bringing you exciting updates.... we'll keep the tedious ones to ourselves!
Construction continues on our project at 70 Holland Avenue. Fibre Cement panels are nearly complete and the cedar siding is being installed as we prepare for the brick to go up. The project is starting to take shape, and we are excited about the insertion of this project into the neighbourhood. We will continue to post as construction carries on.
Our Bevan Avenue Residences project was selected as a finalist for this year's Greater Ottawa Home Builder's Association design awards. This marks the first submission and first project to be selected as a finalist by Project1 for these awards. Of course we need to thank our friends at Revelstoke Design and Build for another high quality build.
The design for a custom home in the Glebe is complete and we are preparing the project for spring construction! The custom home will feature large-span aluminium windows and lift & slide doors, allowing rooms to open to the outdoors in the warmer months.
We have just completed the design of a custom home in Old Ottawa South!
While making a modern interpretation of the existing fabric of the neighbourhood, this house features near 'passive-house' standards for energy efficiency. It also has been designed to accommodate older family members with limited mobility, meaning a wheelchair can access every space on the ground floor with ease.
Energy efficient. Accessible. Modern.
Construction is set to begin in the spring.