Thursday, 14 June 2018

Creating Community Connection: One Home Becomes Sixteen

Love the smartphone. Hate the isolation it creates. There are now less friendly smiles on the bus and chance meetings are too easily hijacked by the latest tweet.

How do we give opportunity for friendly encounters and community connection?

First of all, have vision to transform a piece of land with one single home needing a lot of weekend lawn mowing, to a community of sixteen families. 

Secondly, make sure each new family home has ample space, privacy, security and independence. The interior layout should suit family life, and the home look out to a beautiful garden setting. 

For community connection, think of great places where people mingle naturally - that are sunny, relaxed and have an openness that feels safe, like Rome's Spanish Steps...

By Arnaud 25 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

In Maple Ridge, British Columbia, after the location's environmental setback was established to match the circumstances, a four-plex / townhouse site was created. To fit in with the neighborhood, the building form was to appear as three large homes, arranged to establish a wonderful family style community setting.

Now a rezoning application at the City, the meeting point designed in the middle of the three buildings is the 'Maple Steps', a place where landscape, sunlight and passive surveillance (for safety) can allow great conversations to begin.

The result is a site surrounded by nature with a beautiful outlook and the right number of families to create a vibrant community where genuine care and concern for each other can happen 'by accident'.

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