By Joanne Lee-Young & Dan Fumano
Most multi-family housing projects have amenity rooms, but with the cost of land rising and new units getting smaller, many of these common areas are being downsized. Often they are only 450 square feet.
“You put in a few exercise bikes and you’re done,” said Vancouver architect Marianne Amodio. “They are getting smaller and smaller.”
But at Tomo House, a co-housing project “for middle-income families” that she is designing, there will be an amenity room designed for 28 people to be able to sit down and have dinner together.
“It’s really about the de-commodification of housing,” she explained of the thinking behind creating more spaces where people and families can interact and live together. “It’s not designed for sale or investment purposes.”
Amodio will be speaking at the Architectural Institute of B.C.’s Confab 2019 on May 7 about designing family-friendly housing. Her panel was put together by Amalie Lambert, who is an intern architect and research assistant at B.C. Children’s Hospital Research Institute and has been examining the well-being of children. The panel will also include Edna Cho, a City of Vancouver senior housing planner, and Ann McAfee, a former planner who created some of the first guidelines on “designing for families at high densities” in the 1970s.