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6th + CROSS II (50x100 Project)
Whitehorse, Yukon
2020 - paper project
50 x 100 downtown lot

The 50x100 lot is the building block of much of Canada’s cities. It is the ‘urban atom’ and the scale of the single family home. In Whitehorse, these lots are ubiquitous in the downtown core, part of the original subdivisions of the Yukon River valley into discrete parcels – for better or worse.

The 50x100 series is a number of paper projects exploring the potential of the 50x100. As these lots are amalgamated, there is infinite potential to what can be developed. At 100x100, underground parking becomes feasible, at 150x100, towers are possible. In Whitehorse, development is limited to a 25m height in a small part of downtown, for much of the core only 20m or 6 stories are possible. These projects will ‘limit’ themselves by being bound to the 50x100, the City of Whitehorse Zoning Bylaw and the National Building Code of Canada. A limited paper project to see what is possible within the current boundaries of building. Limitations can be the fertile ground for greater creativity.

The projects propose a new kind of density – a diagram for living that does not include double-loaded corridors. Multi-housing that provides a front door, outdoor space and an intimacy not found in typical typologies.  A density that is palatable to Yukoners who largely prefer the trees and sky to corridors and elevators.

The Sixth and Cross II project creates an urban terrace that faces south. Four of the units are given generous outdoor terraces. The two northern units are given a live/work unit on the main floor to provide entrepreneurial opportunities and enliven the street. The main floor is comprised of commercial space. The corner of the massing is an urban stair and vertical plaza. This space is small and intimate so as to not overwhelm the public realm but to augment it with a new public landscape to see and be seen.

The proposed exterior materiality is a treated wood cladding. Masonry is largely impossible in the Yukon due to the lack of local labour but also the weight and distance required for shipping makes it an expensive and ecologically irresponsible solution. In this case the wood is proposed to be panelized, broken into smaller widths to be articulated as a unitized material with the 'stately' appearance similar to masonry. 

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