Ambleside Hills

Carleton University
w/ Melissa Chan, Race D’Atri Guiran and Jesse Rafeiro
Spring 2013

Working with a small group in studio, I helped to put together a proposal for the redevelopment of a neighbourhood in Ottawa. After an analysis of the location, we chose to focus our recommendations on four major areas of improvement:

1) Accessibility: We set up an improved system of public transit based on the city’s plans to bring a new LRT line to the area.
2) Essential Services: The neighbourhood was missing some key services like a bank and a grocery store. We designed commercial spaces with these in mind and added more small retail spaces along the street.
3) Variety of housing typologies: The existing housing was mostly 1970’s towers and some small row houses. We added in a wider variety of housing types, and made improvements to the existing buildings.
4) Sense of identity: In our exploration of the area, we found it was missing a sense of place or character. Our vision for the neighbourhood was to create a balance between an urban community (with accessible services, transit, retail, entertainment) and a slower suburban area.

After developing our strategy together, we each focused on one piece in more detail. My part was the “triangle”, an area we chose early on as the central transit and service hub for the community.

This was an existing park, so part of the the design objective was to add in space for services and transit without losing too much green space. To accomplish this, I lifted the park to become an accessible green roof instead.

Approaching from one side, you see the park as a gentle slope rising beside the street. From the other, it’s an open plaza and community gathering space. I designed spaces for a grocery store, a bank, a city bus station, a bike rental and repair shop and a restaurant.

This part of the project was key to developing the sense of identity we were looking for. By adding essential services and giving the space a distinct character, the neighbourhood becomes a much more desirable place to live.

A fly-through video of our project is available here.