What could have been a lot with only six single-family homes has been turned into a space that now holds 25 affordable apartments for residents of Winnipeg. Designed by 5468796 Architecture, the Centre Village complex was built from modular units to create a varied, yet cohesive micro village. The three-story buildings are arranged around pedestrian streets and a shared courtyard that encourages community, but each home still maintains its own privacy. Increased density, combined with daylighting and natural ventilation as well as small space, micro rooms encourage a lower impact and more sustainable lifestyle.
The lot on which Centre Village was built was at one time an abandoned site in a neglected inner-city neighborhood that was slated to hold just six single-family homes. A zoning change allowed the developer to instead build 25 affordable apartments for low-income families. A change from six to 25 is a big increase, but 5468796 Architecture handled the changes with respect and creativity for the families that would occupy the development. Rather than cram all the housing into on block, the firm local firm created a micro village complete with its own streets and public courtyard. The design encourages community interaction, getting to know your neighbors and multiple uses for space.
In total, the complex has 25 homes ranging in size from a one-bedroom apartment at 375 square feet up to a four-bedroom unit at 875 square feet. These micro apartments encourage living with less, reducing energy usage as well as waste. The project was constructed using modular units that were stacked and interlocked to create a variety of spaces. Each apartment features windows on at least two sides to provide natural daylighting and encourage cross ventilation. Deep set window cowlings provide shade and privacy to the interiors. While the bright orange used on the interior may be a bit much for some, it does make the building pop when used on the exterior. The micro homes and the whole development encourage low impact living and provide much needed housing for Winnipeg.
Images ©James Brittain and 5468796 Architecture