pettaway pocket neighborhood, little rock, ark.
university of arkansas community design center
fayetteville, ark.

Located within a 1-mile walk of downtown Little Rock, this design for a pocket community addresses some of affordable housing’s thorniest problems. The three varying home prototypes have several things in common: clean-lined gable roofs and cathedral ceilings; framing dimensions and SIPs construction; and an appealing palette of dark cladding with white accents to emphasize porches, stoops, and balconies. The homes also share a lawn, playground, and stormwater infrastructure, which uses plants instead of pipes to control the area’s chronic flooding.

The cluster concept restocks an urban neighborhood with affordability options. “It’s hard to get traction with one infill property at a time,” says Stephen Luoni, Assoc. AIA. This model “creates visibility and attracts investors who might otherwise be leery of moving into the area.”

It’s also a good way to galvanize stewardship. “It’s not so much about the private parcel, but a shared landscape maintained by a homeowners association,” he says. “When you pay small dues, $40 a month or so, you’re less likely to ignore your yard, and the plantings also heighten awareness of sharing and maintaining the space.”

All smart ideas, but it’s the architecture that makes this project sing. “It’s a really interesting typological study of the gable, and the screened porches are beautiful,” a judge said.

View all 2012 RADA winners.

project credits

principal in charge: Stephen Luoni, Assoc. AIA, University of Arkansas Community Design Center; project designers: Cory Amos, James Coldiron, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD+C, and Jeffrey E. Huber, AIA, LEED AP, University of Arkansas Community Design Center (UACDC); student interns: Brendan Boatright, William Bobo, Suzana Christmann, Jeremy Goucher, Ginger Hefner, Michael Lyons, Akihiro Moriya, Cesar Augusto Larrain Vaca, UACDC; developer: J. Scott Grummer, Downtown Little Rock Community Development Corp., Little Rock; project size: 1,000 square feet to 1,400 square feet; site size: 0.92 acre; construction cost: $90 per square foot; sales price: $125,000 to $150,000; units in project: 9; renderings: Stephen Luoni.