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Step Up On Fifth

Pugh + Scarpa Architects

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Project Name

Step Up On Fifth

Project Status


Year Completed



  • Lawrence Scarpa
  • Tod Lipka
  • General Contractor: Frank Ruiz
  • Interior Designer: Pugh + Scarpa Architects

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Project Description

2010 RADA
Affordable / Merit

This affordable housing for homeless and mentally disabled residents impressed the jury with its artful blend of private and semi-public zones. “It’s an incredibly dense site, and yet you have all these nice outdoor spaces,” observed one judge. “It fits into the urban condition.”

The 46-unit project by Pugh + Scarpa Architects contains space for supportive services, as well as a first-floor gallery featuring artwork by residents. All circulation is exterior, and a series of passive solar strategies—cross-ventilation and metal shading devices, for example—greatly reduces the building’s carbon footprint while enhancing inhabitants’ quality of life. Community rooms and a pair of second-floor courtyards provide safe, sheltered places to socialize. “The community kitchens are a way to get people out of their units,” says Angela Brooks, AIA, LEED AP, of Pugh + Scarpa. To satisfy city requirements, the building also incorporates an underground 23-car parking lot complete with a hydraulic lift system.
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