I wanted to share this ever since I recently moved back in June. One of my neighbouring buildings (on Haro St. between Chilco and Gilford St.) looks like this from the front:
OK so nothing out of the ordinary, right?
This beautiful building (built in 2001) is actually a multiple family dwelling of seven units. This is a good example of density done well to borrow a phrase from Brent Toderian. The density isn’t apparent, the design of the building hides the density. When you walk by you think it is actually only two houses. Architectural tools were used to maintain the scale and feeling of a single detached character home. This building has many of the human scale design qualities outlined by Jan Gehl in Cities for People. The front yard is 10 feet deep, the building is only two stories tall, there are multiple entrances, and a high level of detail makes the building visually pleasing and interesting. Even the way different textures and colors are used in the front make it seem like two completely separate buildings.
Good design has hidden the density in this building. The photos below reveal the density.
Considerable attention was also given to the alley to make its residents truly proud to call this a home.