Our design of a 4 unit townhouse project in the Heritage Harbor development in Ottawa, Illinois is nearing completion and is proving to be a unique product for this resort community.
A major decision in the design was our attempt to create a courtyard and to activate outdoor space on the street side of the main structure. By detaching the garage and pushing it as close to the street as possible allows that space to exist between the the house and the garage. A 4 foot high cedar fence with 1" spaces between the planks provides a measure of security for the Owners while allowing passersby on the street to get a glimpse of activity within the courtyard. It is a fine balance to strike between privacy and community.
From a sales perspective, the courtyard adds a space that exists nowhere else in the Heritage Harbor. The one story, flat roofed garages add scale to the street and helps to break down the mass of the complex and provide a frame of view leading to the entry of the townhouse itself. The screen porch for each unit is oriented towards the courtyard and visually support the entry piece. The entry piece is a two story, glass faced rectangular mass that reveals a open rail metal stair and a glimpse of the view to the river beyond. It will look like a beacon at night.
On the river side of the project, each unit steps back to follow the profile of the property along the lake and orients the view of each unit through a corner window towards the mouth of the cove to the Illinois River to the east. The profile on the land drops 10 feet from the street side to the river side, providing the opportunity to add a lower level walkout. The main living level presents panoramic views through continuous bands of floor to ceiling windows and access to an adjacent projecting balcony. The two end units have first level master bedroom suite that also in directed towards the river view. All other bedrooms are located on the second floor and also face the river.
We are still working on and making adjustments to the project, but at some point we have to stop designing, finish the drawings and build it! City of Ottawa is currently reviewing the design, which is a departure for anything that has preceded it in the development, thus a little challenging for them. We are getting full support on the design from Rich Bridges and the entire Heritage Harbor team, who see this as a positive progression from the first generation of development.