Nordhavn iii, low rise, sidewalk living

Several buildings and streets in Nordhavn had a relationship to the sidewalk not seen in Ottawa. I saw similar buildings in Amsterdam too (subject to a future series…).

The ground floor units are right up close to the edge of the public sidewalk. Instead of a balcony, these units had a miniature stoop/porch and steep narrow stairs down to the sidewalk …

… where residents put out chairs and pots and treated the edge of the sidewalk like a traditional pre-auto-era laneway development tourists mostly see in historic old town centres. These stoops are not the main entrance to the apartments, that is through lobbies after every second apartment…

Note that the stairs are steep and narrow, and the sidewalk is overhung by the balconies of the units above. This would obviously not work well in a melting-snow city like Ottawa …

The units shown below had a much larger outdoor deck with gated entry and faced the harbour:


The end unit appeared to be a commercial unit with a potential three or four season outdoor patio.

The glass doors on the ends of the patio frame slid open; the top was a retractable awning. Some installations had glass frontages too. Note the proximity to residential units above and beside…

Future building lots were utilised for construction worker parking and sometimes for temporary parks or gardens. These planter boxes, on pallets, were mostly unused.

Beyond these apartments was another new infill land. The area to the right is a bit lower, probably for a parking garage, and has been graded and utilities installed for the building to appear above it:

3 thoughts on “Nordhavn iii, low rise, sidewalk living

  1. While I like the idea of a couple of chairs and a table near the sidewalk for the residents to sit at as they enjoy a coffee, I wonder if they need to secure them, for fear of a social misfit deciding the furniture would look better elsewhere.

    My daughter used to live in central Toronto, near University and Dundas. The side street her apartment was on had street level patios in front of the townhomes/apartments. Very few of these patios had anything on them, and the ones that did had large caliper chains/cables with imposing locks holding the furnishing in place, to at least slow down the social misfits.

  2. The public housing units just behind the Museum of Nature here in Ottawa have similar sidewalk exposure. It is not used in the winter obviously, but people put their own planters out in the summer, with interesting aesthetic results. I pass there weekly on my way to the “Y”.
    Public housing has a better chance to develop urban concepts without developer interference and the often temporary sales appeal considerations.

  3. I wonder if the ‘out of the way’ nature of this development is so very gentrified that people don’t have to worry about ‘social misfits’? Even in the Glebe, having front porch decorations/planters is a short-term thing, as they’re inevitably stolen from the yard. Or is it that there’s so many planters and furniture that theft risk is low? Herd immunity? Beautiful development though.

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