There are some, like David Owen and Edward Glaeser, who think that we should all live at Manhattan densities in 40 storey towers; I have tried to make the case for a Goldilocks density, not to low, not too high, but just right.
A example of the kind of building that we need a lot more of is Bloc 10, designed by 5468796 architecture in Winnipeg, Manitoba for Green Seed Developments. It is a three storey walk-up that houses ten units in style.
The building has a complex layout; the architects write:
All of the units (sized between 900 and 1300 s.f.) rise over three levels and most have two balconies. As the apartments ascend, they cross from one side of the building to the other, resulting in ten unique, interlocking layouts that feel like a hybrid between a condominium and a house. This arrangement provides views to the north and the south, and eight of the ten apartments have views in three directions. To take advantage of the maximum allowable mass for the development, cantilevered projections expand rooms, create balconies and provide support for the wooden, vertical-slat privacy screen that wraps the building’s exterior.
Nice ShadesThe screens do more than just provide privacy; they also provide shade and control solar gain.
Unusually, the building was sold as as "white box" units, unfinished with just the basic plumbing and heating Buyers decide what use goes where, personalizing the finishes "to their own taste and budget."
The project won a Governor General's Medal, the top architectural prize in Canada. The judges wrote:
This eye-catching block of multi-family housing re-works the familiar typology of the low-rise terrace block to striking effect. Apartments fit together with the pleasing complexity and ingenuity of a Chinese puzzle, offering spatial and experiential variety. Thoughtful consideration of materials gives the scheme an uplifting confidence within its unremarkable suburban context. Handled with sensitivity and flair, this project shows what can be achieved by applying intelligence and imagination to an often disregarded building type.
There is a lot of life left in the walk-up apartment; Bloc 10 demonstrates that there are there are alternatives between the single family suburban house and the 40 storey high rise. It's just right.
More at 5468796 Architecture