“The DiStefano group prepared unifying architectural and urban design guidelines, together with innovative housing models. They were very innovative in developing options for integrating a broad range of housing types into a cohesive and exciting whole, including narrow-lot single family homes, row housing, duplexes, fourplexes and apartments. The group was also very practical in their approach to accommodating the needs of existing residents in the area. At all times Distefano Architecture and their team were cooperative and communicative, and a pleasure to work with.” – Alain Cunningham

The South East Meadowlark Implementation Plan Project in the Town of Osoyoos is the rezoning of a 16.2 ha section of land by the Town of Osoyoos from agricultural use into residential use.

Working with Dale Knowlan and Associates as well as Outland Design, Landscape Architects, we developed two plan scenarios that focused on a community wide organization of roads and pathway systems that linked the community together. At the center of the community the existing Kettle Pond became the gathering point for the community. It was the Town’s intent to create a “show piece” community that features green design aspects and a walk-able community geared to the local demand with a high affordable housing component.

Within each of the plan scenarios and working within the already established architectural façade guidelines of the Town, we developed a series of housing types to be implemented. The housing types ranged from higher density 4 storey apartment buildings to smaller scale townhouses and carriage houses. The concepts also looked at providing a range of fee simple and strata type ownership for the units as well as providing mortgage helper rental units combined with some of the housing types.

The project is of specific interest as it deals with a growing concern in the valley, affordable housing for locals. A good deal of development that occurs in many of the valley’s towns is geared towards their tourism industry and the cost of housing is often pushed up by the demand of those looking to buy a summer retreat. Providing affordable housing has been a growing interest of ours. This project provided an opportunity to explore in a limited fashion various housing types and configurations. Designing high quality affordable housing is an exploration of pairing down all of the typical design work we do into its most simplified state. Light and access to amenity spaces is heightened in its importance in the design. The grand moves are often at the level of the community where they can be a benefit to all.

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