The Camas Gardens supportive housing project provides 44 units of supportive housing to people at risk of homelessness. Besides meeting important program and budget requirements, the design is intended to support community – by providing light-filled and comfortable spaces within, and by making an urban-scaled gesture of openness to the neighbourhood.
The building’s context on Humboldt Street contains a number of diverse architectural typologies, ranging through high end modern condominiums, colourful heritage buildings, seniors’ residences and 1970’s apartments. CLHa sought to respond to this diversity with a contemporary architectural solution that is durable and welcoming, that restores an important piece of the city fabric, and that conveys a sense of warmth and optimism.
Camas Gardens’ partially-enclosed south-facing courtyard, punctuated by a one-storey commons room, is central to this intent. The building form suggests both an embrace of the residents within, and an opening up to the neighbourhood beyond. Common areas unfold from the privacy of tenants’ suites, becoming places of shared experience, bringing choice back into their lives, and helping them step towards recovery. The building has a range of sustainable and energy efficient features, allowing it to achieve LEED Gold certification.
Winner of the 2012 Canadian Wood Council BC Wood Design Awards – Multi-Family Residential category.