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Calgary, Alberta

In Calgary’s beltline district, just south of the busy downtown core, is a densifying residential neighbourhood. Calgary developers have responded to the need for multifamily residences with many infill projects designed to maximize space in the city center. In keeping with the trends in this area, Ross Kool and Chad Smith opted to design a modern four-storey residence, maximizing the lot and creating an opportunity for three new suites.

The third suite is achieved with a walkout basement design, creating a comfortable dwelling out of a typically undesirable space. All gardens are meticulously planned, maximizing the small yards and patio space. Assigned vegetation includes low water conifers and deciduous trees as well as low lying shrubs. To compensate for the lost backyard, a roof garden was added to increase the environment’s exterior amenities. An elevator makes the entire site accessible.

The front decks are designed to capture the afternoon sun. This was accomplished with a sun shadow study. This also secured necessary permits as part of the neighbourhood impact report.

A housing solution in Alberta’s growing cities is the result of the appropriate use of space, careful planning, and open forum. Solutions such as these will meet the need for healthful environments that integrate biophilia in an urban culture that is typically unaware of its therapeutic benefits. As space in urban centers becomes more densified, particular care must be taken to ensure timeless values are not crowded out by the speed of development.