Architectural Design

CORE CITY APARTMENTS

Guidelines:

In the Core City community in Detroit close to Grand River and Rosa Parks Blvd. design a functional city block with townhouses, duplexes, apartments, and shops, with the single parent in mind. 

Design concept:

The townhouses, small businesses and other functions were organized on the edges of the site to provide a courtyard for the playground and give a sense of community for the residents of the development. The apartment buildings are oriented to align with the north and south, although the streets run at an angle. This allows for better wind flow for the wind turbines. Rather than being discrete, the wind turbines are in their most familiar form and brightly colored to act as a reminder for the community to be more aware of their energy consumption.

The Core City apartment buildings are designed to provide “homes” to its residents. In a society where apartments are thought to be transitional places to live, these apartment units dispel those feelings by adopting characteristics of a typical “house”. Each unit has its own entire floor to give a sense of individualism and maximize the natural light gain from the east and south

The floors, ramps and steps leading onto the small porches in the vertical circulation areas are made of cement to give the residents a feeling of entering a house, rather than an apartment. All the bedrooms face towards the east, and the living areas face south. The kitchen, dining and living areas are all open to each other, and the height of the ceiling is 12 feet tall to make the small floor plan feel larger. Both the master and children’s bedroom have two doors to allow the children to circulate easily, and play freely without feeling confined. The floor levels in the units change in small nook areas that offer a degree of seclusion if a resident is seeking privacy. In the children’s room, a small space between a picture window and a controlled view panel of glass provide moments of solitude. In the master bedroom of some units, the bed is on a 4 foot high platform with pull out storage underneath. In other units, this platform is omitted for handicap access.

The vent-less fireplace located in the center of the main living spaces is made of a thermo-chromic treated metal. When a fire is lit, the fireplace changes color to signify to the children that they should be cautious and not come near the flame. This same material covers the bathtub to indicate the temperature of the water.