The majority of the world’s population now lives in cities and the rapid urbanization shows no indication of abating. A 2010 study for UN Habitat, estimated that by 2030 there will 3.5 times the amount of new construction worldwide as the current building stock in the US. In North America, movement to urban centers has outpaced that to suburbia for the first time since the mid-twentieth century. The Deep-Performance Dwelling is intended as an urban single-family home that answers the pressing global challenge to provide affordable and robust housing in cities that must achieve greater environmental and cultural sustainability, livability, and social equity.
We consider the ongoing transformation in the social dynamics and variability of composition of the contemporary family unit as a primary driver for innovation toward urban sustainability. The need for flexibility and adaptability over time for diverse live-work-play and inter-generational scenarios is an inspiration for the architecture of the Deep-Performance Dwelling. This hybrid programmatic intention, intertwined with high- performance building aspirations, is the heart of what we mean by “deep-performance” as our design philosophy.
The TeamMTL design philosophy begins by acknowledging successful and time-tested typological variations within the existing urban fabric of Montreal. We are inspired by the need to harness contemporary leading-edge technologies and construction methods but equally so by proven traditional forms of housing that create vibrant and flexible familial spheres and neighborhoods. The row house typology, typical of Montreal’s inner-city housing stock embedded in the urban fabric, accommodates single-family scenarios in a long and narrow low-rise form. Additionally, the traditional Siheyuan courtyard house demonstrates an environmentally and culturally specific approach to city dwelling of great historic and functional value. These two architectural expressions come together to inspire the design development of the Deep-Performance Dwelling.
The Deep-Performance Dwelling is a uniquely syncretic product of our study of these two housing typologies born of different cultures. As we take into account the important differences and emergent similarities in dwelling patterns and forms across Canada and China, we believe that sustainability, affordability, and the pursuit of a healthy and happy life in the city are global concerns to which solutions can be proposed and developed across cultures and locale.
TeamMTL begins with the premise that the project’s design and construction must be applicable to the contemporary Montreal urban, social, and affordable housing context. “Deep-Performance” implies a socially, culturally, and technologically advanced architecture that embodies qualitative and quantitative notions of performance in addressing energy efficiency, comfort, wellbeing, affordability, environmental sustainability and ecological awareness. The ongoing transformation in the social dynamics and the composition of the contemporary family unit have revealed the need for flexibility and adaptability over time for diverse live-work-play and inter-generational scenarios which is at the heart of the DPD design.
The DPD is a uniquely syncretic product of our study of two proven traditional housing typologies born of different cultures. The row house typology, typical of Montreal’s urban fabric, accommodates single-family scenarios in a long and narrow low-rise form. The Siheyuan courtyard house demonstrates an environmentally and culturally specific approach to city dwelling of great historic, social, and functional value.
Sensors will monitor various data sets while displays and smart appliances will allow for their visualization and interactivity. This multimedia experience will raise ecological awareness and contribute to systemic change in our collective efforts to live sustainable lifestyles.
By using passive design and construction principles, we are designing a net-zero energy capable dwelling in an urban context. This is possible by developing the design through an integrative process overarching the project. From the active systems to building envelope and prefabrication construction methods, all aspects of the house contributes to the house’s zero-energy goal.