Located in a suburb of Victoria BC, this project is comprised of two linear, three-storey, wood-framed residential apartment buildings on a site that slopes down from a small park to a busy arterial road. Each building contains 24 units of approximately 93m2 (1000sf), each with underground parking for 35 vehicles.
The concept for the buildings emerged from an intention to maximize the perimeter’s grade-oriented apartments, and exploit the natural slope of the hillside. The long rectangular plan allows the maximum number of apartments to have views of the park, the garden courtyard, and the forested hills beyond. The linear shape and sloped property lent itself to a long, landscaped, terraced courtyard between the two vertically staggered wings of the complex. This courtyard connects the surrounding sidewalks with the pedestrian path network of the park and with the nearby Galloping Goose regional trail. The courtyard and the constructed wetland across the main street frontage of the downhill building form parts of an environmentally sensitive storm-water management strategy that is crucial to the landscape design of the project.
The buildings’ use of wood continues the tradition of wood siding in this semi-rural context, with its adjacent Garry Oak meadow and coniferous forest ecosystem. The exterior envelope of both buildings is a ventilated, insulated rain-screen assembly clad in tongue and groove vertical western red cedar. The siding has tight-joint detail with square edges and a combed surface to create a smooth, refined façade. The siding and matching soffits are clear-coated, to allow the natural texture and colour variations of the wood to show through and to harmonize with the dark brown window frames. The massing of the entrance lobbies is a varied and highly glazed composition, with vertical and horizontal cedar siding as well as ground-face concrete masonry. The palette of materials is deliberately restrained; the texture and warmth of the wood siding and soffits contrast with the hard surfaces of the concrete base, metal grilles, guards and flashings.