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The Sliver House

The Sliver House

In one of Calgary's most westward communities, a small plot of land was sectioned off from a larger plot. Seemingly unwanted and undersized - this sliver was left on the market for many months. With little yard space, but plenty of city trees, the Sliver House was designed to best embrace the positive aspects of the plot and to suggest that any plot, despite its downfalls can inspire good design.

Typically, Calgarian homes are vertically segregated with private quarters on the upper floors and living spaces confined to the lower (darker) levels. The sliver house reverses this typology, bringing the living (public) spaces to the upper level capturing large views outward, while the private quarters remain on the ground level blanketed with privacy via the large existing trees. The main level turns around the site, opening up a small but quaint side courtyard which extends downward so that both the main and basement levels can be filled with natural south daylight.

The upper volume cantilevers to both the north and the south of the site and are punctuated by large expanses of glazing which face both adjacent streets. To the south lies a bright living room, and the north is home to a clean and minimal dining room. Centered in the house lies two low-lying marble islands which comprise the utilitarian but reductive kitchen. A small terrace to the west of the kitchen and dining room invites evening sun to enter the space and allows for a small outdoor space. The absence of walls or unnecessary vertical elements in the upper storey allow the upper volume to breathe, making the modest home feel significantly larger than it actually is.

The Sliver House is an exercise in both utility and minimalism. A mutation of a typical Calgary 'infill' typology for a better and more considered inner city growth.

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