Nestle Near: 7 Attached Homes Preserving Warmth in Montreal

The level of residential density in Montréal’s Plateau neighborhood is sometimes compared to that of Hong Kong. If you have visited both of those cities, that may seem utterly bizarre. Hong Kong is crowded with high-rise skyscrapers and rapid urban development, while Montréal’s Plateau consists of buildings three or four stories high, offering charm, personality and intimacy. Embodying such characteristics while also covertly packing in residents at such high frequencies, has resulted in unique and provocative residential forms. Not always discussed, Montreal’s impressive efficiency offers an underrepresented model for high-density development. Owing to its distinctive character, Montréal’s residential density flourished out of a vernacular somewhat unrelated to urbanization, population growth and the tendency to cluster in cities. Attached housing grew commonplace in order to avoid losing heat in the city’s frigid climate. In erecting a residential style, builders and designers could not ignore the icy reality that Montréal is violently cold for several months per year. Not only was less heat lost through homes’ adjacent walls, but the designs also created enclosed backyards, which further protected homes from the harsh climate. Partially and initially driven by the weather, decisions on the part of residential builders have profoundly affected Montréal’s social ...
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