In the process of adapting the design of a prototypical row house to different site conditions including topography, scale, zoning constraints and programmatic requirements, we have recently developed a series of row house typologies, some of which are illustrated here.
Type 1 consists of single family row house dwellings with rear loading garages on a hilly site. In response to the rhythm of row houses on surrounding blocks, and as is common in traditional row house typologies, bay windows are employed as means to break down scale and animate the streetscape. In Type 1 the bay window spans the height of the top two floors.
Given the length of this particular development, and the fact that the site topography along the row varies significantly from one end of to the other, a secondary type (1A) was developed, in which the bay window changes in elevation and encompasses the lower level and 1st floor, with an open balcony above. The end result is a playful rhythm along the length of the block that helps to animate the streescape while mitigating the changes in elevation between adjacent row houses.
Type 2 is a variation of Type 1. In this case the garages are front loading. The desire for shared curb-cuts for garage access brought upon the need to mirror the row houses side by side, hence the variation.
As with Type 1, bay windows are employed. In order to avoid creating the appearance of double wide row houses given the mirroring, here the bay windows are differentiated in their massing (2 tall versus 1 w/ balcony), and the color of the siding material varies. Adjacent garage entrances are slipped from front to back with respect to each other, further breaking down the scale of the 2 row-house module and creating an interesting figure/ground effect that further dematerializes the module.
Type 3 is a 2-family variation, in which a cellar level was added, raising the main floor about 4 feet above grade. This development consists of 2 row houses only, so the need for variety was lessened.
In response the two story scale along the street of this development and the typical covered entrances, the bay windows here have morphed into a larger element that provides cover at the front door while creating balconies above. The main body of the buildings recede 3 feet back, allowing for the 2 story continuity along the street wall.