Housing and Aggregation: High Density Urban Development
Lead Presenter: Melissa Murphy
The objective of the urban housing studio was to design an affordable, market-rate housing complex on a site near Dudley Square. My proposal uses a few key architectural moves to overcome the complications and restrictions of a double-deep site and bridge the gap in scale between bordering commercial and residential streets. A series of occupiable, terracing roof gardens not only provides a shared sustainable amenity for the residents, but also helps to ground the design among the neighboring buildings by matching the surrounding scales of the city. The inclusion of a large box retail space and a generous central lobby helps to create a transparent ground floor that frames a pedestrian “street” removed from Washington Avenue and encourages the public to engage with the building. In the context of a tightly knit urban fabric such as Boston, achieving a high unit density is essential in order to exploit the usable area of select few land parcels. By placing two double-loaded corridor buildings back-to-back, I was able to leverage the depth of the site to maximize unit density while creating a design challenge for finding unique solutions to allow for natural day lighting and views. A combination of walk-up units and apartment-style living utilizes the square footage of the building efficiently and accommodates the needs and desires of a wide range of users.