Award of Excellence Large Places Or Neighbourhood Designs
Upper East Side
Site: Pape Avenue and Mortimer Avenue
Architect: Wallman Clewes Bergman Architects
Landscape Architect: Corban and Goode Landscape Architects and Urbanists
Developer: Cohen & Alter Developments
This cluster of townhouses forms a beautiful urban neighbourhood. The architects, the same firm as 20 Niagara St., here demonstrate their knowledge of the London rowhouse with its small but essential garden setback, the iron gate along the street, and the pronounced entry door to each house. I am particularly impressed that they understood just how "modern" the English Georgian style really is, and they appropriately transformed it subtly with their more contemporary sensibilities. This is very difficult to do, to work within an historic language, yet remain fresh and new. I applaud them for their efforts. Few architects can create a neighbourhood.
This is a very exciting street-oriented rowhouse development that replicates a formula between the buildings and the street that has worked well for several hundred years but has been sadly neglected in modern times. Though classic in spirit, the architecture is clear and contemporary and most of the detailed elements have been carefully resolved. If only the back garden and parking arrangements had been as effectively handled as the front.
This project is an outstanding example of "fitting in", creating a high-quality extension of the existing residential neighbourhood. The architectural design shows a thoughtful variety in exterior compositions, within a consistent palette of materials - almost a Georgian sensibility.
While this project was submitted in the "Buildings" category, we felt it best recognized in the "Neighbourhood" category because of its well designed urban structure and form at a large scale. The dimensions and character of the interior residential streets are excellent examples of comfortable human scale. If you have not been to the project, get here with your measuring tapes! This has got to be replicated elsewhere. For me, the success of this project has little to do with the style of architecture, but more to do with meeting basic principles such as creating social spaces along the street and establishing a thoughtful building-height-to-street-width relationship.