The City of Edmonton has launched its second Infill Design Competition, this time looking for creative designs for the 'missing middle' - residential buildings on a scale between rowhousing and mid-rise apartment buildings up to six stories.

Edmonton Infill Design Competition 2019 cover, image via City of Edmonton

First launched in 2016, the competition is the second in the series that hopes to engage residents and the development community in conversations about how to improve infill design, and provide ideas that help connect neighbours and build communities.

The first competition sought small scale infill designs for a hypothetical site the size of one-to-two typical lots for single-family homes. It received 82 submissions from architects, builders, students, and enthusiasts from around the world, and awarded five prizes for various categories plus one award for the best submission overall.

2016 competition 'Best Overall' winner, 'SlimCity' by MIZA Architects, image via City of Edmonton

The new competition, endorsed by the Alberta Association of Architects, seeks designs for a city-owned property at 112 Avenue and 106 Street, about a block north of the Kingsway/Royal Alex Metro LRT station, and two blocks south of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT). The property will be offered for sale to the competition winner to build their vision.

Submissions are recommended to include at least 15 dwelling units and have a maximum height of four stories, though up to six stories may also be considered.

Rendering of The Clove, a rowhouse development currently under construction in Cloverdale, image via Parkwood Homes

Building forms like row houses, triplex, fourplex, stacked row housing, courtyard housing, and low- to mid-rise apartment buildings are referred to as the 'missing middle' due to the typology having fallen out of favour in recent decades. Residential construction over time has shifted to focus on single-family homes and large residential towers, and very little in between.

Diagram of the 'missing middle' housing typology, image via City of Edmonton

The City of Edmonton hopes to find more of this middle density being built as it looks to bring more infill and 'gentle density' to established neighbourhoods, many of which are currently dominated by single-family homes.

St. Claire, a four-story apartment building completed in 2016, photo by Dave Sutherland

The city is accepting registrants until February the 4th, and the competition closes on March 1, 2019. Submissions will be judged by a panel of six Canadian architects, and awards will be presented at a reception on May 29, 2019. More information about the competition and registration can be found on the City of Edmonton website.

SkyriseEdmonton will be sure to follow the competition as it progresses. What do you think of the Infill Design Competition? Leave your comments below, or join the conversation in our discussion forum.