Woodgreen Community Housing, 690 Coxwell Ave.

Danforth Village, Toronto

How does a city increase the supply of new affordable housing quickly and affordably? Build with modular units.

 

To efficiently alleviate the strain on Toronto’s overwhelmed shelter system, Woodgreen Community Housing and NRB Modular commissioned us to design a six-story modular apartment building. Prefabricated wood modules will not only expedite project delivery, they also contribute to more sustainable and affordable construction.

The building will provide 20 people currently experiencing homelessness with affordable, self-contained studio units, each with an eat-in kitchen and private bathroom. The ground floor common areas will include a flexible program space and administrative offices with services to help improve residents’ quality of life and support their daily needs.

The shallow property on Coxwell Avenue backs onto a public park, and so designing the building with a single-loaded side corridor, we were able to create units with superb light and views and cross ventilation. We gave the façade a rhythmic composition, framing the large windows with elegant frames that add tactility and disguise the units’ factory origins. The full-scale windows slide open to establish Juliette balconies overlooking the park.