… TABC! Let us introduce project GAGA, the winner of the professional tier category in the Kitchener backyard homes design competition!
You might recall that our team previously presented the competition requirements and our final design to you. We are happy to announce that our Green Accessible Granny ADU (GAGA) was one of the winning submissions. Here is what the winning team had to say:
How did you find out about this competition? What was the design process behind GAGA?
Our senior designer, Ana Gascon, lives in Kitchener herself and had been following the City Council approval process from the beginning. We are all very enthusiastic about Ontario’s municipalities taking steps towards backyard homes and more affordable housing. We decided to tackle the competition as a team effort! Ana, alongside one of our Ryerson co-op students, Kim Degenkolb, started the initial design process and involved other team members later on through design charrettes.
Are ADUs common in Kitchener? Is there a need for affordable ‘forever’ homes?
Kitchener only recently permitted Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), which is why they initiated this competition. It is a fairly new concept for many municipalities in Ontario but definitely a necessary one. As we face a housing crisis, sky-rocketing property values, and an aging demographic we need to increase flexible and affordable ways of living that can withstand the test of time.
What are your favorite features of GAGA? Was there an inspiration behind the occupant Georgina?
GAGA is an accessible/affordable, energy efficient, and sustainable ‘forever’ home with built-in flexibility. The ADU is designed to be a beautiful backyard home for Eva’s mother, Georgina, to gracefully grow old in alongside her loving family. Georgina is inspired by all of our parents and loved ones that we want to be close to and take care of. We wanted to make the space as flexible as possible, so it will be a fully accessible suite to allow Georgina to live independently. In addition, affordability is top-of-mind for Eva, so we have designed this green building to be a Net-Zero home with very low monthly bills. The high efﬁciency Air Source Heat Pump provides carbon-free cooling and heating that won’t be subject to the increasing carbon charge for long term affordability.
How big of a family can live in GAGA? Can it really accommodate children and seniors?
A young family of four can comfortably live in the space, with the additional loft space providing a semi-private environment. The sleeping loft can provide extra bedroom, home office, play space, or storage – depending on Eva’s changing needs. Senior residents, like Georgina, can make great use of the accessible first floor while having their younger family members close by in the main house for assistance.
What should I do if I want GAGA as my own home? Is my backyard suitable for an ADU?
We at TABC have been designing plenty of laneway suites in Toronto and consider ourselves pros when it comes to additional dwelling units on your lot. We are currently expanding our practice to Kitchener and are excited to help residents design their perfect solution! While the GAGA unit can serve as a prototype to get your design started, we are more than happy to adapt the design to your needs and lot size. The first step is to speak with one of our architects – visit our get in touch page to book a consultation. You will get all your answers in this one-on-one consultation from Principal Architect and ADU expert, Daniel Hall. Your $50 fee comes with a no-question money-back guarantee if you feel that the chat was a waste of your time. Come join us as we transform housing in Kitchener, one backyard at a time!