Barrhaven Haven, apartment living

The wood-frame low-rise apartments at The Haven had a number of attractive touches. The individual front doors, for example, had a quality light fixture:

And the doors had lever handles and two peepholes, since not everyone is made the same height:

The apartment mail rooms had a convenient niche for setting down your parcels or purse while retrieving the mail:

There was a bike room right off the elevator lobby, and the room had direct access to the outside:

This is waaaaay better handled than so many building applications I see that put bike rooms deep in the otherwise unusable bowels of the building, accessed through multiple sets of self-closing doors and 90 degree turns. The bike-havens looked wonderful. There’s even a water tap (but where’s the drain?).

Rather than a garbage shute from each floor, some newer buildings have a recycling lobby on the ground floor, ideally enroute to the front door. This spacious room, nicely finished in painted drywall, had different drop off doors for each type of garbage:

and rows of wheel-out bins for the garbage in the room behind:

above: bike door on left, garbage room on right

The apartments had a shared laundry room.

with swipe card activation to reduce machine damage during thefts …

although there was a machine to charge your swipe card which did have money in it. Does(n’t) everyone have a credit card and internet? No, cash management still has a role to play in our age:

I find it very interesting that social housing installs laundry rooms, whereas condo developers tell me that common laundries are the kiss of death for a condo, and that personal laundry cleaning equipment is very highly rated. I know a single young lady who owns a condo and she ruled out every development that did not have full size equipment en suite. How could one person have that much laundry? Oh, she said, she does laundry 5-6 times a week. To each their own.

I sometimes get annoyed (us old folks do) at unsocial or vaguely unsocial behaviour. Of course, manners and social grace has to be taught. Sometimes this results in signs. See, for eg, city water fountains and washroom taps with reminders of how to wash one’s hands. Good.

In my experience, visiting social housing projects whether in Berlin, Vienna, Ottawa, Toronto, or Florida, that socialists love signs. The more the merrier. I once thought the downtown Beaver Barracks project looked like a reincarnation of Karl Marx Haus in Vienna from a century prior, the signage was so similar and earnest. And the Beaver signs were reincarnated at the Haven …

Each of the blocks of buildings in the Haven had a different accent colour, which makes wayfinding much easier for the little ones, as colours are learned early.


next: outside the Haven is Barrhaven.