New rental units are still great news for the West End !
Nightingale 956 (Source David Penner Architect)
Winnipeg's first shipping container housing project is one step closer to being a reality.
The rental project, dubbed Nightingale 956, is being proposed for 956 Notre Dame Avenue between Banning and Burnell Streets. It is three storeys tall with 18 units of about 440 square feet each plus a mezzanine. It also includes an elevator, common corridors and storage modules.
Source: Community Committee agenda
The proponent, David Penner Architect, will appear at the February 5, 2013 City Centre Community Committee meeting to seek a zoning change and a number of variances.
They want a reduction in the lot size normally required for this scale of development from 20,000 square feet to 7,000 square feet. Also, they want to reduce the number of parking spots required from twenty to five. The city administration recommends supporting these changes.
The project would require the demolition of two adjoining commercial properties, including one of "Winnipeg's Tiniest Stores", and an attached house.
There has been a lot of buzz about shipping container housing in the past decade. The first time I saw one was just last month near Les Halles in Paris. It's more of a temporary office / storage / barracks for workers on a nearby construction project expected to take a couple of years to complete.
When it comes to housing developments, as you might expect, they have been most popular in land-strapped countries like the Netherlands, (check out the massive student housing container complex in Keetwonen), and places with a lack of building materials like Afghanistan.
Here at home, you might be surprised to know that Vancouver has already taken the plunge with a twelve-unit social housing development in the Downtown Eastside. We even have a unit right here in Roland, Manitoba.
It will be interesting to see if there is a great demand among Winnipeggers looking to shoehorn themselves into Netherlands-esque housing conditions. If there is, it could change the way we think and plan about infill housing and maybe even new developments.
I'll be most interested to see how converted shipping containers will be able to stand up to a week of minus 30 temperatures !
Nightingale 956 drawings David Penner Architect
8 eye-catching shipping container homes MNN
New Buildings contain promise Free Press (March '12)