Architectural Guidelines

The Architectural Guidelines apply to the exterior expression of all homes in Larch Park. It is important, however, that they are not read isolation as many aspects of design are also addressed in the Landscape, Sustainability and Area Specific sections.

Enduring Value

In our planning phase, we visited many of Edmonton’s well-loved communities to research what gives them their enduring value.  We discovered:

  • Colourful, diverse communities that mix modern and traditional architecture.
  • Craftsmanship: quality materials used in creative and innovative ways.
  • Site-responsive designs that suit our unique prairie environment and climate.

We further concluded that three regional architectural styles best fit our vision for Larch Park: Capital Modern, Craftsman, and Prairie.  While aesthetically different, they have many similarities: large windows that capture views and light; asymmetric elevations that can “flow” with the site; and, flexible floor plans that meet the needs of today’s homeowners.


Architectural Styles

The following permitted architectural styles have been selected for Larch Park:

These styles have been chosen based on their historical use in Edmonton and Alberta, their appropriateness for the various lot sizes / housing typologies envisioned and for their adaptability to achieve the sustainability goals of the project.

Click on each style for a more detailed description and guidelines for each.

Responsiveness to Solar Orientation, Views and Topography

These guidelines vigorously encourage environmental sensitivity for each site. 

  • Existing natural environments shall be maintained for their richness and diversity. 
  • Structures shall co-exist with existing tree stands, and
  • Building placement should take advantage of solar exposures and natural daylighting, while respecting the daylighting and view corridors of neighbouring lots.



  • Identical front elevations shall be separated by at least two (2) lots on the same side of the street and will not be permitted directly across the street.
  • The predominance of any one particular model on any given street will not be allowed.

Corner Lots

  • Houses on corner lots shall have full elevation treatment on the two elevations fronting the streets.
  • If the rear elevation is visible from a side street, it shall have full elevation treatment as well.
  • Wrap around porches are strongly encouraged on corner lots.
  • In some cases, the area specific guidelines may specify the elevation containing the front door.

Park Lots

  • Houses adjacent to parks, walkways and green spaces shall have full elevation treatment on the elevations facing the park.

Front Yards

  • In some instances the area specific guidelines will require a front yard setback that is greater than that required by the Edmonton Zoning By-law.
  • Single storey front porches will be permitted in these expanded front yards.

Front Entrances

  • Front entrances shall be clearly visible from the street and should be designed in proportion to the door.
  • Two storey entrances are not permitted.
  • In some instances the area specific guidelines will indicate the elevation to contain the front entrance

Front Doors

  • Front doors shall either be stained natural wood or a bright colour.
  • High quality fiberglass doors designed to look like crafted wood doors are permitted.
  • Arched or oval windows are not permitted.
  • Double front doors are not permitted.

Front Porches

Front porches convey a sense of welcoming; they are required in some areas.

  • Porch design and materials that fit the overall design of the home are a high priority.
  • The foundations of front porches are to be clad in brick, stone, stucco, or shingles.

Material Returns

Front elevation materials shall return onto the side elevations a minimum of 5', or terminate at an inside corner.


Garage Size

  • Single car and double car garages are permitted.
  • Unless explicitly permitted in the area specific guidelines, triple or larger garages are permitted only in tandem (double-deep) configuration.

Windows in garage door are inconsistent with openingWindows in garage door are inconsistent with openingGarage Doors

  • Garage doors are to be of a high quality design and finished in wood.
  • Chamfered garage doors are not permitted
  • Door design shall be consistent with the shape of the opening.  For example, rectangular door panels partially covered by curved openings are not permitted.


Refer to Landscape Guidelines and Area-Specific Guidelines.

Building Elements and Materials


Fireplaces are symbolically the centrepiece of the home and add greatly to the character of the home.  As such, exterior chimneys

  • are to be brick, stone, or a high quality material compatible with the exterior detailing of the house.
  • shall incorporate corbels, creative shapes, and other handcrafted details.
  • shall extend down to grade and have a minimum cross sectional area of 1.0m2 at the base.
  • Vents from direct vent fireplaces should not be visible from the street.  Top vent fireplaces incorporated into a detailed chimney are preferred.

Solar Panels

Solar panels, both solar thermal and PV, are permitted on all homes in Larch Park. Solar panels shall

  • be integrated into the overall design of the home;
  • generally be located on the centre third of the roof; and,
  • be parallel to the roof slope when the roof is sloped. 

You can tilt the panels on flat roofs to the sun as long as they are visually integrated into the overall design of the home.

Mechanical Equipment

  • All flues visible from public spaces must be boxed in and detailed in a manner consistent with the exterior detailing of the home.


  • All flashing shall be coloured to match the adjacent material.

Restricted Materials

The following exterior materials are not permitted at Larch Park:

  • vinyl siding
  • aluminum siding
  • California, Arizona, English, or frieze-textured stucco

Restricted materials


When selecting materials and construction methods, consider the durability.  Whenever possible, design for long-life span.  Homes are not disposable objects.

“A white house is fine,” said Mr. Pine, “but there are FIFTY white houses all in a line on Vine Street.  How can I tell which one is mine?”

From the children’s book Mr. Pine’s Purple House By Leonard Kessler

Larch Guidelines Version 3.0