Four Affordable Housing Developments Receive HUD Design Awards

San Francisco—The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in conjunction with the American Institute of Architects (AIA), has selected four affordable housing developments as the recipients of the HUD Secretary’s Housing and Community Design Award for excellence in residential housing design.   The awards were presented during the 2009 AIA National Convention and Design Exposition held in San Francisco.The winners were Homeless Assistance Center of Dallas; Project Place-Gatehouse of Boston; Bridgeton Neighborhood Revitalization of Bridgeton, N.J.; and Irvington Terrace of Fremont, Calif.”These housing developments are truly transformational,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “They go beyond both form and function and are helping to revitalize their surrounding neighborhoods. These winning designs show that affordable housing and good design can go hand-in-hand.”Homeless Assistance Center of Dallas won in the category of “Community-Informed Design,” which recognizes design that supports physical communities as they rebuild social structures and relationships that may have been weakened by out-migration, disinvestment and isolation.Known as “The Bridge,” Homeless Assistance Center meets the growing concerns of homelessness in Dallas. Since opening in May, it has been more successful than anticipated. The facility, which was designed for 400, now handles up to 1,000 people a day, and more than 500 individuals have received training or counseling and secured employment or permanent housing. Crime has been reduced by 18 percent in the surrounding neighborhood. The “Creating Community Connection,” award, which recognizes projects that incorporate housing within other community amenities for the purpose of revitalization and planned growth, was presented to Project Place-Gatehouse of Boston, a new six-story mixed-use building that offers housing, job training, work experience, education and support services to those experiencing homelessness.Developed by Interseminarian Project Place and designed by Hacin + Associates Inc., the building is comprised of 14 affordable SRO apartments on the top two floors, a multi-function space for community use, and a ground floor commercial restaurant space, which subsidizes the rent for the building’s SRO units and is a job generator for the neighborhood. The building, which is designed for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, includes two geothermal wells that provide energy-efficient heating and cooling. There were two winners in the category of “Excellence in Affordable Housing Design,” which recognizes architecture that demonstrates overall excellence in terms of design in response to both the needs and constraints of affordable housing.Bridgeton Neighborhood Revitalization of Bridgeton, N.J., a HOPE VI grant recipient, represents the maturation of the HOPE VI program, addressing urban neighborhoods more sensitively in a broader variety of city contexts. Parcels in the northern quarter of the city were selected, all of them nearly vacant blocks, almost entirely paved over from former industrial uses. The former public housing site, which was redeveloped by the Bridgeton Housing Authority and The Ingerman Group and designed by Torti Gallas and Partners, was revitalized by removing the existing buildings and restoring the site as a park, reconnecting the neighborhood to the Cohansey River park.The 100-unit Irvington Terrace of Fremont, Calif., which was developed by BRIDGE Housing Corp. and designed by MVE & Partners, is a low-income housing development that balances progressive modernist forms and a traditional village-square-like community. It forms a block-long perimeter of flat-roofed rental apartments, articulated with interlocking rectilinear volumes that define individual units. This provides street wall relief and variety, complete with street-enlivening stoops and porches. The rows of housing surround two town-square courtyards with adjacent public amenities.