We propose a new housing type, designed around community interaction, can create better neighborhoods and enrich the lives of its residents. Our approach applies strategies used in dense urban cores to enhance the numerous benefits available to medium-density communities, including Asheville, such as picturesque surroundings, moderate cost, and existing community bonds.
Primary among these strategies is an exchange of modest amounts of personal space for a diversity of community-wide amenities able to serve many types of households. By increasing unit density, the design allows significant common space, promoting communal interaction and casual encounters. Examples include a commercial kitchen for hosting dinner parties, a wellness center for assisted living services, or a daycare space for shared nanny services.
A second strategy uses the buildings’ siting to form a network of interlinked courtyards, accessible to the general public, that can be used for neighborhood-wide events and installations. Acting as destination and extension of the pedestrian-oriented Depot Street, these contribute to a walkable zone that welcomes discovery and promotes community interaction. Outdoor spaces in the network may house school plays, local art installations, block parties, community gardens and other activities enrich neighborhood life.
A final strategy uses distinctive architecture to offer each homeowner a sense of individuality within the larger community. Multiple peaked roofs conspicuously denote unit bays, making individual units identifiable. Gently sloping rooflines offer further distinction between buildings, while maintaining a low profile that preserves views and sightlines. Each homeowner is a distinctive member of the larger community. Source by Palette Architecture.
- Location: Asheville, NC, USA
- Architect: Palette Architecture
- Scale: 300 SF Enlargement, 3,300 SF Interior Renovation
- Year: 2017
- Award: 2017 – Runner-up in competition Missing Middle
- Organizer: AIA – North Carolina
- Images: Courtesy of Palette Architecture