“We are convinced there is a market for environmentally-intelligent development”, they wrote. “We have a vision for the Larch Lands. We want to preserve natural habitat, create a neighbourhood that is compact, diverse and connected, encourage modern architecture and build greener buildings”.
Peter Poole, Arctos & Bird’s principal, went on to say, “For two generations, our family has walked the Oxbow and Whitemud Creek Ravine trails. We’ve watched porcupines shuffle, spotted moose and migrating goldeneye. My parents and I want to preserve the lands below the Top of Bank Trail, for wildlife and for Edmontonians to enjoy.”
Other —at the time— unique initiatives included a construction waste management system for builders, use of bioswales to increase groundwater recharge, a stormwater management pond designed to become a functioning ecosystem; and, a landscaping plan based on the diversity of species that once dominated the area.
Simple Houses. Diverse Blocks.
The streetscapes you see around you are the result of considerable thought. The contemporary aesthetic, mixed together with historically-relevant Craftsman and Prairie homes (as opposed to Georgian or Tuscan mansions), is intentional. The three architectural styles all emphasize large windows that capture views and light; asymmetric elevations that can “flow” with the site; and, flexible floor plans that can be tailored to fit.
The urban plan for Larch Park emphasized changes in material, colour, size and type of house, with the the goal of creating and preserving pleasing views.
Walkability was another value. The joint venture partners envisioned lively streets that connected indoors and outdoors, private spaces and public spaces.