Affordable / Merit
The Snyder Affordable Housing project sparked controversy among neighboring homeowners, who were fearful of its density and potential to lower property values. In the end, the project won the neighbors' praise, just as it won over our panel of judges.
Approval for the project hinged on the architects' ability to preserve existing wetlands and old-growth trees, as well as their ability to minimize the project's visual and physical impace on the neighborhood. With that in mind, the firm nestled appropriately scaled buildings among pedestrian-friendly spaces, while making sure to distance both from vehicular zones.
"It was important to have the pedestrian quality to the space," says principal David Warner. "Homeowners had to be able to walk up to their houses, the way you would in an old neighborhood." The architects wanted to avoid cookie-cutter-style condominiums, so they used mountain-cabin vernacular to give the project character. "We wanted homeowners to feel like they were living in something that had a nice quality," Warner explains.
"The layering of the buildings gives the houses some privacy," the judges said. "You feel the scale of each house, even though they're all grouped together."