Understanding the architectural fabric of an existing neighborhood is critical to the design of an infill project. At 138 Alymer the massing of the building has been carefully articulated to compliment the existing qualities of the street. This house was designed to sit quietly in the neighborhood. The brick elements have been articulated using a modern language with a taller mass on the left and a shorter mass on the right to address the heights of the abutting houses. From an urban design perspective, this house improves the quality of the public realm without calling attention to itself.
The owners have aging family with limited mobility so the ground floor of the house was designed in accordance with the Canadian Standards Association requirements in Accessible Design for the Built Environment. The ground floor is completely accessible by a wheel chair, and provisions have been made to allow for the future construction of a barrier-free ramp along the side of the house. The ground floor also features a washroom with a shower designed to barrier-free standards.
The owners also had a requirement for energy efficiency, and this was met in a number of ways including increased insulation in the walls and roof, high performance windows, solar panels, and reduced flow plumbing fixtures.
138 Aylmer is an example of modern architecture that works within the urban fabric of an established neighborhood. It shows that houses can be designed for people with mobility difficulties while still being sophisticated and aesthetically beautiful. Finally, it reinforces the idea that houses can be energy efficient without that becoming the defining element of their appearance. This house shows that you can have many goals for a project, and that through well executed design it can be brought into a cohesive whole.