Working in groups of two, students are will select a housing tenant(s) with precarity (i.e. low-income family, elderly, students, chefs, actors, musicians, refugees,--working urban young people etc.) and from your readings, research and case studies develop an ideological position and proposal for creating an architecture that will house this group with economy, amenity, comfort, security, community, dignity and delight. You will articulate the site and zoning parameters for a proposed architecture that will articulate the typological, material, construction and design strategies that could make the project more affordable and significantly less environmentally damaging than the Toronto status quo of high-rise concrete slab construction or suburban sprawl.  The project should be scalable and or adaptable to a variety of locales and situations in other global urban centers beyond Toronto or Tokyo. The tenure (public or private ownership, condominium, rental, co-operative) may also be considered as part of the strategy. Our needs for the next 20 to 30 years must be anticipated. Creative experimentation and/or reinterpretation of studied types is expected.

One goal that all affordable housing has in common is to integrate people from all walks of life into the urban fabric and to provide a safe, enjoyable, and open space for all: a home. Toronto’s Bayfront has undergone a transformation wherein the controlled development of privatized and commercialized space has contributed to the decrease of social interactions. The focus of this project was to change our understanding of Zoning as a form of boundary and try to reassess how the city of Toronto is zoned. The zoning in Toronto is such that it inadvertently creates segregated cells for various uses: residential, commercial, and offices which can, in turn, divide the urban fabric that we so wish to interweave.

Using an existing parking structure is a representation of the traditional zoning restrictions of the North American city, it is an embodiment of the invisible walls of zoning. Parking garages as a building made entirely of circulation, and a fixed ramp like a street is taken and given life through the movement of walls instead of cars. People are able to create their homes outside of the restrictions of zoning. This will promote diversity among the unit owners, and differences in income, age, and background will be celebrated as they work together to create their own homes and businesses and thus the community.

Not even the restrictions of buildings, the boundaries of the built form such as zoning reflects on the effects of time. Context is what people make it, buildings cannot impose themselves or fully create context.

Toronto Metropolitan Department of  Architectural Science Toronto, CA.