Designing a New Kind of Community

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In honour of Treehouse Village’s groundbreaking ceremony on August 21, 2021, our lead architect, RHAD Architects, offered these words of support to our community. [Photo: Shirley Robb]

Like all of the Treehouse Village Ecohousing (TVE) members, we have come along for this cohousing ride open to whatever adventures we would stumble upon. With our two “guides,” Caddis Collaborative and Jasen Robillard, we joined the rest of the workshop groups with wide eyes and open minds, eager to see how this cohousing project would develop. 

Since the beginning of this journey, we felt honoured and privileged to be brought into this group and treated like one of the community members. This has only strengthened over time by working so closely with the rest of the project team, including the TVE reps on the Pro Team (shout-out to Scott and Andrew!), the amazing crew at Tate Engineering, and all of the other engineers and professionals who are involved. 

Along the way, as with any long road, there have been twists and turns, ups and downs, pandemics, and more Zoom meetings than we could ever count. Despite this, we are buoyed, like all of the members, that this time and effort is worth it. That taking the time to re-think how we dwell and how our communities are shaped is a worthwhile endeavour. This is not the case just for this project, but for how we think about architecture and community development in general. We have been fortunate to be exposed to these best practices through our work with Treehouse Village, so that we can take what we’ve learned and integrate aspects into many of our other projects. 

Over the last few years, our country has focused our collective attention on learning Indigenous ways of life that had been lost for so many years. The wisdom of the first communities on this land were in alignment with the philosophies that are so important once again to deal with our climate crisis — the idea of looking at every decision and how it affects seven generations ahead. 

In this way, Treehouse Village is mindful of the land and land use, the carbon impact of the housing on our Earth, the communities in which our children’s minds develop, and the quality of life in which our elderly age. This is underscored by the inclusiveness associated with the units and all common spaces that are — to the best of our abilities — affordable, accessible, healthy, and inviting. 

Although this has been a wild ride, with changes and switchbacks in order to accommodate everything that we all strive to achieve, while keeping the project budget in check, the principle of the project is not only sound, but resounding. With your dedication and commitment as members, you are forging a new example of community development for others to see and to replicate. 

We look forward to the next phase as we see your project grow out of the muddy soils on site and then onward in coming years, when you make these houses into your homes, your soils into gardens, and your community into family. 

Thank you,TVE, for your trust in us and our Team, and congratulations on this amazing milestone!!

All the best,

Rayleen Hill, Megan Gainer, and the whole team at RHAD Architects

Learn more about Treehouse Village’s professional team. Read about Treehouse Village’s groundbreaking celebration.

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