Our proposal for Urbanarium’s Decoding Density competition aims to transform urban residential neighbourhoods

Decoding Density is the second international competition launched by Vancouver-based Urbanarium. It is an invitation to imagine new possibilities for six-storey plus apartment forms while addressing two of the most existential problems of today: climate change and housing affordability. Our firm has been developing design research focused on approaches to address the shortage of housing options in urban areas by proposing incremental, rapid solutions to increase density, with an emphasis on supporting liveability for inhabitants.

For our competition entry, we conceived Adaptable Density, a sustainable, neighborhood-friendly approach to urban intensification. Our design gradually increases density in a downtown Vancouver neighbourhood by constructing multi-unit buildings of up to 6 storeys on single-family home lots, while also exploring a single egress. Transforming four single-family properties adjacent to a main street, we’ve created a collection of multi-unit buildings around a central courtyard with 40 residential units. Building heights vary from 6 storeys at the corner to 3 storeys adjacent to the next property. Our focus was on developing generous, liveable units with access to private and communal outdoor spaces for resident wellness. Additionally, the scheme is designed with adaptable building blocks for easy replicability on other sites, offering more accessible opportunities for small-scale developers. We look forward to the results of the competition!

View Adaptable Density