Maria Guerrero, an architect from Kansas and Advisor on our board, has been working with me on the shared community space. While the original size has remained the same, the construction and use of the space has changed as the Pocket Community and Tiny Town design has evolved. I have included here some historical designs and notes, as Maria has spent a good deal of time on them. Throughout this process, she has remained enthusiastic about being part of this grand vision, and I appreciate her continued support, more than I let her know.
The community center has evolved to be built from reclaimed shipping containers. We felt this provided a modular design that could be relocated if necessary. Our NHS Demonstration and Research Project, while originally conceived as the start of a permanent community, after conversations with 14 cities, has evolved into a 3-year study project under a Temporary Use By-law. While we hope the project will become a permanent site for tiny home living, we are planning for both the possibility of relocating it or expanding it.
The key functions of the Community Center originated as a place to put solar panels to collect power for the 12-tiny homes in the neighborhood. It was based on images I had seen from the Mount Hood development in the US that included a central outdoor firepit, walking paths and gardens. To accommodate Canadian winters, the building was enclosed, and an underground power storage facility was added to the design.
After being introduced to some cohousing community concepts by watching Grace Kim’s Ted Talk and subsequent email conversations, I came to realize a little about what community means and how it can be created
This gave me a new direction for the community space, and I added seating around a fireplace and other community elements. Later when I spoke with Ross Chapin and read his book, Pocket Neighborhoods: Creating Small-scale Community in a Large-scale World
I began to understand how not only the community center could be designed, but how the whole neighborhood POD could be designed to encourage the creation of community.
A Pocket Community is what our aim is to create in each 12-home POD.