‘Infill can be beautiful’: City announces winner of ‘missing middle’ design competition
Dal alum Mark Erickson (BEDS’09, MArch’11), principal and co-owner of Studio North— an interdisciplinary design + build practice, took the top spot in a Calgary based development competition.
Article originally posted on cbc.com May 30, 2019 8:00 AM MT
By Tricia Kindleman
A new development company has put itself on the map by winning the Missing Middle Infill Design Competition.
Part & Parcel, along with Studio North and Gravity Architecture out of Calgary, took the top spot in the city run development competition with their Goodweather design. Principal Mark Erickson says they are really excited to focus on ‘missing middle’ developments.
“We see it as a way of starting off our development company on the right foot,” Erickson said. “Making a really distinguished sort of different development that will distinguish us and have a really strong purpose in defining what missing middle is. Hopefully, that will set the path forward for our company.”
‘Missing middle’ refers to housing that falls between single-detached homes and high-rise apartment buildings, such as row houses, apartment buildings and fourplexes.
The developments are referred to as “missing” because they can be hard to find in larger cities.
The winning design was selected by the panel of judges because they felt its overall look could inspire future developments in the area and for the buildings ability to support inter-generational living.
Ward 2 councillor Bev Esslinger said it also helps make better use of the infrastructure that already exists.
“Many people are really excited about the idea to live in an established community with the amenities that they can walk [to and] that they can already enjoy,” Esslinger said.
Esslinger will see the new developments go up in her ward in the Spruce Avenue community along 106th Street across from Kingsway Mall.
“So many neighbourhoods don’t want infill,” Esslinger said. “But they’ve embraced it and said this would be great for us. They’re looking forward to seeing it developed and [they] have been a part of the process. I think we demonstrate that infill can be beautiful and co-exist within a community.”
In total, 56 dwellings will be built. That includes 14 townhouses, 21 single bedroom lofts and 21 ground level units that are designed with accessibility in mind for seniors.
Director of the city plan Kalen Anderson says developments like this will be key as the city plans for growth from one to two million people in the future.
“A lot of those people are going to be living in older communities that are going to be redeveloped over time to welcome new families,” Anderson said.
Anderson said the people of Edmonton are embracing infill as they get further into the process.
“It’s easy to be frustrated with a construction project,” Anderson said. “But it’s really easy to fall in love with your neighbours.”
A full list of the winning entries can be found here.