Between 1947 and 1974 the Central Housing and Mortgage Corporation (CMHC) of Canada invited Canadian architects from across the country to produce high quality yet affordable house designs for a rapidly growing population. Beloved to many, what were once the childhood homes of the generation under 50, are now homes to their children.
We have set out to retrace and redouble the efforts of these earlier initiatives. At a moment when economic recession has dampened outlooks for young North Americans, the question of affordable housing seems to have been curiously divorced from issues of quality and adequacy, let alone function and beauty. As a response to this condition, we are 'renovating' a selection of small house designs from the 1958 CMHC catalogues in what is both a design exercise as well as an engaged form of research.