Creating Neighborhood: Rethinking Urban Family Housing

Presenter: Katherine Schneider

Research Category: Computer and Information Sciences
Student Type: Undergraduate
Faculty Advisor: Katherine Schneider
Award Winner Category: Computer and Information Sciences

Historically there has been a severe disconnect between the needs of urban families and the amenities and spaces provided to them by typical city housing solutions. What makes a neighborhood successful? How are activated public spaces created within a compartmentalized apartment complex? This project studies and develops the design of a new housing prototype for supporting families within a densely populated city environment. ææGrowing urban families seek escape from the city in search of the community, privacy, and security that a suburban context can offer. This project focuses on responding to the growing need for sustainably networked residential communities that prevent low-density suburban sprawl. It is difficult to obtain a sense of community or beneficial interaction between people when living in multi-family housing. This prototype provides a private raised central green space for residents with visual connection to a larger public park, with supplementary commercial space at the ground level. The main lobby acts as a public living room for building tenants, and upper floors feature a transparent single loaded corridor, allowing occupants to identify the entry to their apartment. Each unit provides a centralized gathering space by combining the living room and kitchen to maximize daylight penetration with large operable windows. Bedrooms and bathrooms are located off of the gathering space to create an enhanced sense of privacy and separation from the main circulation corridor. These design concepts are explored through a 35,600 square foot multi-family residential housing complex in Dudley Square of Boston, Massachusetts.