On the CU Denver team advancing to the final round are (pictured above, left to right) Stacy Ester (MLA), Joel Miller (MArch), Adam Buehler (MArch), Nora Bland (MURP), and William Dolenshek, (MBA-CU Boulder), with their proud faculty advisor Dr. Jennifer Steffel Johnson, assistant professor CTT of urban and regional planning.
With the goal of “advancing the design and production of livable and sustainable housing for low- and moderate-income people through research and innovation,” this national competition asks multi-disciplinary teams to address social, economic, and environmental issues in their response to a specific housing problem developed by an actual public housing agency. Winning solutions demonstrate the teams’ understanding of community, the population served, housing affordability, and the development process, including design and finance. The 2018 competition asks teams to design housing for seniors and people with disabilities on a site in Dover, New Hampshire.
The team’s project, entitled Allied Living, was designed to be a community grounded in safe, inclusive and connected spaces. Five guiding principles—identity, connectivity, accessibility, wellness, and experience—informed the team’s design interventions. With consideration to innovative phasing, programming, form, and materiality, their design invites residents to connect with their neighbors and the greater Dover community.
The walkability and accessibility of the site connects larger community hubs through smaller social nodes, intentionally using everyday places to encourage interaction and placemaking. Sunlit spaces, community gardens, and ease of access to nature support the overall wellness of the community’s residents.
Allied Living was envisioned to be a home where residents can express their own identities, branch out to experience new things, and connect with empowering community partners as well as each other. Achieving this vision required proposing an inclusionary zoning provision to the existing zoning, and carefully balancing the project’s hard and soft costs with anticipated sources of funding and income.