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Unique modernist design in Edmonton: LG House

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LG House was designed as a modernist design of simplicity, volume and restrained materials by architecture studio Thirdstone Inc. The concept of LG House was developed in response to the challenge of building a narrow 25’ x 140’ wide infill lot in an established Edmonton, Alberta, Canada city-core neighborhood. One of the architect’s primary goals was the development of a sensitive typology for urban consolidation.

 This affordable modern house was designed as a two-storey in order to make best use of the narrow site. The transparency of the front facade encourages ‘eyes on the street’ and active engagement with neighbors while providing a sense of belonging to the community.

Comprised of main living spaces on the ground level, a narrow enclosed link containing a hallway, half-bath and rear closet, connects the main house to the single car garage off the back lane. This arrangement forms a ‘U’ configuration creating an intimate and private outdoor south-facing courtyard.

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The Dining Room opens to the outdoors by way of a folding glass wall system. Both the Main level and the Courtyard are at the same finish grade for ease of accessibility and to effortlessly extend inside activities outdoors. Glass walls ensure excellent visibility to the front garden and rear enclosed courtyard.

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To maintain affordability, materials incorporated in the project consisted of standard building materials which were applied in a unique manner. 4’x10’ fibre-cement panels were ‘ripped’ and installed using standard lap siding techniques. Cedar planks were used to highlight architectural details of the house and installed using ‘rain-screen’ principles. This resulted in a distinctive appearance yet it was accomplished using affordable ‘standard’ materials.

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The second floor plan allows for space to be re-arranged to meet future needs of the family without expensive retrofits and renovations. This means a long term commitment, to the neighborhood and lasting investment in a family dwelling that will be appreciated for a lifetime.

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While recognizing the potential to work with the solar angles and direction of prevailing breezes, the architects sought to take advantage of the narrowness of the structure by applying sustainable design strategies to minimize energy consumption through passive design. Rooms are able to capture sun light due to the design’s east-west orientation. Design considerations included working with solar angles, placement of windows, the direction of the prevailing breezes and cross and stack ventilation to maintain a comfortable natural indoor climate.

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Photos: Merle Prosofsky

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  • Cameron White

    Nice place but its still Deadmonton

  • Marty Seaver

    LG House totally blocks sunlight to the property next door to the left.

    What Prosofsky’s photographs artfully conceal is that this building is
    so close to the neighbor’s house, it is not possible to walk between
    them. The effect of the exterior wall on the north (left) side of the
    building featured here has on the neighboring site is no different
    than that of a 10m high fence erected along the length of the
    property line.

    Even at the peak of summer, the northerly latitude of Edmonton
    means the sun has a low inclination in the sky. Other homes in the
    neighborhood have pitched roofs and greater side easements that
    both contribute to allowing this low angle sunlight to spill past their
    rooftops into the yards and windows of adjacent properties.

    The consequences are plainly visible in Google Earth satellite views
    – darkness at noon for the neighbor to the north.

    Having “Infill-Bombed” the beautiful N. Glenora neighborhood, this
    architect can be expected to pull up stakes soon to move into his next
    project. Meanwhile, his present neighbors will be left to cope with the
    consequences of a city development officer’s decision to reverse the
    initial refusal for this project and the tacit support for such infill
    projects from the Ward 6 and 10 councillors, the mayor, and others.

    Shame.

  • Marty Seaver

    A supplemental remark to the previous post.

    A key objective stated by Edmonton’s Infill proponents is that
    of providing more affordable housing choices within the mature
    (ie: all, according to Councillor Michael Walters) neighborhoods.

    The building featured here is a poor exemplar for the cause.

    Elsewhere, figures are given outlining costs for property and
    construction amounting to $750,000. Moreover, the structure
    does not begin to approach Net Zero energy efficiencies.
    Thirdly, the design and materials will contribute to elevated
    maintenance frequency and expense vis-a-vis structures
    built with pitched roofs and with easier exterior perimeter
    access. Seasonal maintenance, periodic refinishing, not
    to mention unforseen above and below grade repairs to
    services, weeping tile and the building envelope will all be
    higher for this property as a direct result of its design and
    proportions, relative to the site.

    High initial cost, high operating costs. Why Infill proponents
    have been touting the building featured here as a shining
    example is a mystery.

    .