Tuesday, February 9, 2010

10 examples of Modern Architecture in Ottawa

Recently, Ottawa Magazine did a spread on the recent rise of Modern Architecture in Ottawa. Not that this is a new style. It got its start in the early 1900's, but it appears to be seeing a bit of a revival in the residential sector in Ottawa.

Ottawa Magazine's spread focused on houses in Hintonburg, a once rough-and-tumble neighbourhood now referred to by the chattering classes as "Ottawa's arts neighbourhood." I suppose that's because it's close to the fashionable Westboro neighbourhood, but, until recently, has been relatively cheap, which makes it a good launch point for struggling artists. With land prices in Westboro going through the roof though, land in Hintonburg is quickly being snapped up by potential home owners who want a great house in central Ottawa without spending a fortune on land.

Because Hintonburg is a well established neighbourhood, any new houses are infill projects, and a number of them have adopting a notably modern look, such as this row of townhouses at 1133-1139 Gladstone Avenue designed in 2002 by Urban Keios:

or this house at 41 Grant Street Designed in 2008 by James Colizza, which is actually two semi-detached homes placed back-to-back:

and this house designed by Phil Castro being built on an impossibly narrow 12 foot wide lot on Armstrong Street. Despite being only 12 feet wide, Castro has managed to squeeze 1700 square feet into this Hintonburg home that was recently featured in the Ottawa Citizen.

This house at 98 Stirling Avenue designed by John Donkin has been featured in several publications. Its rusting iron front wall matches the colour of the surrounding brick houses but, together with its galvanized steel second story, has a Modernist feel.

However, Hintonburg is not the only place that the Modernism is making steady inroads. Throughout Westboro, the style is prominent, with a number of exisiting and under-construction infill projects adopting the style.

For example, this house on Beechgrove Avenue:

This one being built on Ferndale Avenue:

and this pair of semi-detached houses being built at 224 Royal Avenue:

And this very attractive house on Duchess Avenue that was built a number of years ago

[UPDATE] Next door to this house on Duchess, Jason Flynn has designed another lovely modern house, which will meet Gold LEED standards, to be built by September 2010.

In Champlain Park area, these three houses were built on a large lot on Keyworth Avenue this year.

And just down the street, this house on Keyworth Avenue has incorporated elements of Modernism with more traditional elements.

If you have nothing to do on a sunny afternoon and fancy taking a walking tour of these houses, simply print this map to show you the way.

[UPDATE: In a newer post, I give five more examples of Modern style houses, including one originally built in 1958]


  1. Great post! I'll definitely have to go check them out at some point. It's great so see these houses popping up in Ottawa :)

    Marie @ MOOT

  2. Thanks, there are a few others that I know of in the Glebe, but I haven't added them to this map yet.

  3. Great blog - good luck with your project.
    Less is more.

    By the way, the three houses on Keyworth were design by HiddenCity Design.

  4. Great little blog. Glad to see people celebrating good residential architecture in the city of Ottawa! Beechgroove ave is an old Linebox Studio projects

  5. Thanks Linebox. I checked out your blog and love the Rammed Earth Home you are designing in Huntsville. Readers can check it out at http://modernsustainable.blogspot.com/

  6. Great blog! Check out our modern build at: http://50gordon.wordpress.com

  7. these houses are indeed contemporary, and in some cases nice however they totally disrupt the fabric of the street and neighbourhood. Especially the work by Colizza, it seems he does not notice that there are other house around when plunks down his monuments to self.