Architect: Johnsen Schmaling Architects
Owner/Contractor: Indie Capital
This compact urban infill development creates a cluster of nine single-family homes in a diverse and recently rediscovered neighborhood near downtown Sacramento. The design of the new homes addresses the different urban conditions and building types surrounding the site, mediating between loosely spaced commercial structures and dense low-rise residential. The development includes three three-story homes and six two-story homes. Designed around a limited construction budget, each home offers 1,500 square feet of living area. A garage provides a base for the three-story homes, with the main living spaces elevated to increase privacy and separation from heavy vehicular traffic. The landscaped front yards and generously glazed elevations of the two-story homes help to engage and activate the sidewalk like the front porches and large living room windows of their neighbors. The homes are organized as a series of volumes shifted against one another, resulting in carefully articulated building forms. The exterior of each home is complemented by window walls inserted into the wood boxes, with alternating floor-to-ceiling openings and light-orange wall panels facing the street. The restrained material palette – wood, cementitious stucco, and the black poly-ash siding of entry and garage bays – aesthetically ties together the nine individual buildings as one recognizable ensemble of contemporary houses.
Jury Comment: “We like the materiality, massing and composition of this project. The design is sensitive to the neighborhood, with the repetition helping to make it more interesting. The homes are a good solution for families – very livable and affordable. It's a great example of urban multifamily residential. There should be more of this in the world.”
Photos: John J. Macaulay