December 24, 2013

2013 BOY Winner: Budget Apartment Building

Only occasionally does architecture manage to enlarge the very meaning of home. Here, on a municipal redevelopment site, a building with 97 single-occupancy units serves as a model of supportive housing for people straight out of homeless shelters or off the streets.

The bright red powder-coating on the facade’s corrugated aluminum instantly proclaims the building’s arrival in the industrial area but nevertheless jibes with brick neighbors. A white plaster canopy shelters the entrance to a lobby that, daylight-flooded and double-height, radiates welcome at an urban scale. Farther inside is what principal Matthew Bremer terms the “rampitheater,” seating on a concrete floor that steps up toward the green space between the back of this building and three others in the same complex. (Those are by other firms.) Way-finding and environmental graphics are bold and deco-rative, such as the teal community room’s skyline mural. 

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