A dilapidated, vacant, 60’s era manufacturing building on a one-acre block in an historic urban neighborhood was replaced with 35 townhouses in five buildings. The project responds to its urban context with separate buildings oriented perpendicular to the street, continuing the rhythm of the adjacent houses. This arrangement creates alternating garden courts and auto courts, separating vehicular and pedestrian access and bringing green spaces to the interior of the block.
The exterior materials strengthen the project’s contextual relationship with the neighborhood in this regulated historic district while creating a contemporary architectural identity. The internal facades are primarily composed of brick, while the street façades combine a brick base with a large, flat stucco wall and an extension of the standing seam metal roof onto the wall. The tall, extended roof dormers create an irregular rhythm along the roof line and provide expansive views from third floor bedrooms.
The configuration of the buildings on the site achieves the density required by the owner with the amenities of shared gardens and easy access to the unit’s garages and entries. The kinked shape of the buildings allows each to establish a perpendicular relationship with both the street and rear alley, which are splayed, and creates dynamic views from the garden and auto courts and from the townhouses themselves.
The result is the reclamation of a blighted urban block with the introduction of an appropriately dense combination of townhouses and green spaces as a contribution to an improving neighborhood.