Lapham Park is a high-rise development for low-income, elderly, located just north of downtown Milwaukee in the Harambee neighborhood. The original building consisted of a unit mix of 170 one bedroom units and 28 two bedroom units for a total count of 198 units. The building has had some renovations completed over the years, including renovating community areas to provide services that promote aging in place. Quorum Architects, Inc. worked with the Housing Authority (HACM) to develop a feasibility study for the renovation of the residential building. The project goal was to adaptively re-use the structure to provide more marketable residential units by renovating the building to enhance the residents’ quality of life. Our team and staff of HACM conducted public meetings with the residents to understand their needs and goals for the project. As a result of this feedback, our staff developed design of our recommendations to accommodate the residents’ concerns.
The final design includes providing a new covered entry for family members and service providers to drop-off and pick up residents. The existing residential units are being renovated to make them all visitable, adaptable, and accessible to allow residents additional opportunities to age in their community. A portion of the west wing has been renovated to add ten new residential units. A new elevator is added to accommodate the residents of the building which is well suited for scooters and the needs of emergency personnel.
Sustainable design principles were followed while developing the overall design. All mechanical and electrical systems in the residential units and existing building are being updated with more efficient and sustainable features. New windows have been installed improve the energy efficiency of the units and provide more thermal comfort for the residents. In addition, new windows for the sunlit lobby areas and the finishes in the resident lobbies are upgraded with sustainable building materials and new common area lounge furnishings. A green roof will be constructed on the upper roof areas not occupied by mechanical equipment. The roof has been structured to allow for a future system capable of being adapted for the installation of solar panels as grant funding becomes available. Historic artifacts retained by HACM will be incorporated in the overall design of the project.