Designer: Michele Palmieri
The Three Houses are a community of buildings set up to commemorate the Metis culture and Rooster Town settlement found on the site before the current development. Furthermore, it stands as a community center for the residence of the area and features a symbolic plaza and walking/cycling path which welcomes guests accompanied by the open glazing which renders the interior workings open to all, whilst sheltering for the exterior unapologetic environment.
The site had been the location of Métis settlement within the early part of the twentieth century. The settlers were considered illegal squatters by the city and the site was not commonly thought of in a nice light. This settlement would exist until the realisation of the Grant Park mall project, where the settlers were evacuated, and their homes burned.
The collage crafted from a few photographs extenuates the architectural style, relationships and exterior connections present within the settlement. This collage further demonstrates the sense of community and ability to survive from the land and build with found or upcycled materials. It contributed to the understanding of form, distance and geometries where rendered to increase the spatial sensibility of the project and to attempt at creating a new more dynamic typology within the site utilizing roof lines and a range height. The programming served as a tool for the separation of the functions in a manner which guaranteed cohesiveness and clarity. The programming features the cafe and indoor garden within the south building. Furthermore, a reception desk and lounge are featured within the west house, and the watchmaking collective and the community hall are located within the north house.
The structures materiality and assembly were selected as being contrasting of the interior and recalling of the ones found within the Meti settlement. Thus, found materials such as commercial asphalt paper shingles on the west house, corrugated metal on the north house and burned wood on the south house. The colour pallet is based around the unforgettable burning of the homes and attempts to utilize it as a characteristic which would speak to the history and priorities of the site.