Barriefield Village is a Heritage Conservation District located on the east edge of Kingston, Ontario that is characterized by its largely intact 19th century character. This character manifests itself in the predominantly one to two storey well spaced residential scale with select community landmarks including St. Mark’s Anglican Church carefully situated on a bluff at the northeast edge of the area. It is within this context that MTBA, participating within a multi-disciplinary team (with MHBC), developed a proposal for the City of Kingston to demonstrate a mixed scale, mixed tenancy residential development (single family and senior’s residence) located within surplus land parcels on the eastern edge of Barriefield, which included significant community involvement.
The surrounding scale, form, and architectural articulation served as the departure point for the concept plan to accommodate a significant amount of community housing within the surplus properties situated between Highway 27 and Barriefield Village proper. In essence, the concept reinterpreted the local vernacular, scale, and morphology to extend the Village into the surplus property to achieve a cohesive whole while providing a subtle distinction between new and existing.
MTBA undertook a range of services including historic research, site analysis, review of land use concepts, and a concept development plan for infill use in harmony with the existing heritage context. A 3D model of the proposal in its context served as a key tool in both developing and refining the concepts, as well as discussing it with the public at large.
This evaluation and the associated process was important in demonstrating the feasibility of achieving stakeholder goals including protecting/enhancing heritage fabric, achieving target densities for community housing, and making use of existing infrastructure to provide housing for multiple groups in the City of Kingston. While the plan has yet to move forward, the proposal represents a shift in approach for community housing in the City of Kingston, which will hopefully positively influence other developments in the future.