As part of the next editions of The Seasons Chronicle, we will introduce you to various members of the design and development team behind The Seasons on Little Lake.

For Mark Hanson, it was essential to find just the right architect for The Seasons on Little Lake and his long search lead him to Union Studio out of Rhode Island in the United States. Union Studio is recognized for its commitment to building sustainable communities that in their words save the world from sprawl using an approach that integrates both architecture and urban design. We spoke with Don Powers, the founder and principal of Union Studio about his vision for The Seasons on Little Lake.

Q: What was your impression of the project when you first saw it and what did you envision for it?

A: When we first saw the area and heard Mark Hanson’s vision for the 247 acres along Little Lake, we immediately gravitated to this project as we’ve developed an area of expertise focusing on designing sustainable communities that are comprised of beautiful efficiently designed homes that are also very affordable.

Our vision is to take all the homes in the community and have them connected to a pedestrian world with green space, sidewalks, trails, boardwalk along the lake or forested areas. The goal is to create an environment where everything is walking distance from your front door and residents can walk from one end of the community to the other and not have to cross a street more than twice. This is easier said than done since we also need to accommodate motor vehicle traffic.

Q: How does Seasons differ from other master-planned communities in Canada?

A: We like to call the design “Rural Urbanism”. All of the homes will front onto green space or a sidewalk creating a natural world vs. the car, much like the days gone by. Throughout the community there will be different neighbourhoods, each with its own style and its own identity, but with the cars set apart from the homes. The key is to minimize issues between people and cars.

Q: What impact would you envision this community will have on Midland and the surrounding areas? How will Seasons integrate with and strengthen the community?

A: The Seasons is the opposite of a gated community. We want it to be an inviting place. A market square will be located close to the entrance where there will be cafe.