Portfolio Project Detail

Social Ecology Kevin Lo, Ed Palushock, Ben Anderson-Nelson, and Elijah Lee

A community requires a shared connection or an understanding that they- together, are part of something. More than interactions and technology, we create a sense of social ecology where we choose to reside and when we support one another. A sense of common purpose and localized economies uniting people prevailed in past co-living arrangements- though we find that contemporary times has challenged these notions through globalization and prioritization of the individual.

Social Ecology
The Social Ecology model seeks to align synergies between people, their inherent social needs, and a physical place- towards the establishment of an equitable and sustainable community. Current modes of single-use derivations of contemporary life and urban experience are replaced with a balanced ground of co-operation, collaboration, culture, and shared economics- affording mutual benefits across the greater whole. Good stewardship of the land is paramount through sustainable and appropriate occupant densities, in preparation for continuing population growth and climate change.

Design Drivers
Recent research has revealed that individuals considering co-living believe the two largest advantages of living with others is having more ways to socialize and sharing costs for an increased quality of living in groups of 4-10 individuals. Furthermore- these individuals want to live among others from different walks of life, from younger individuals to couples to downsizers. The project is set within an environment that recognizes, respects, and embraces all characteristics that makes each person unique.

Through a Building Cooperative system of ownership, all residents would have an equitable stake in the property and the operation of the facility. The building includes the use of building materials without chemicals of concern and aspires to establish daylight and/ or views to the exterior from all interior spaces in support of the long-term material and climate health of Residents. Resiliency and climate adaptation are both part of the response strategy as well as opportunities for the design approach.

Design Approach
The proposal introduces a hydroponic garden with dense residential use, where food production is anticipated to provide an average yearly allotment of food to each resident. 224 private, individual residential units are provided with a series of shared common spaces including shared community rooms, two types of kitchens & dining rooms, fitness room, media room, laundry, workshop, exterior terrace amenity, and vehicle ride-share garage. The overall residential program increases unit density while constructing less overall building area by approximately 30 percent- compared to a code-compliant version.

The building form orients itself to the solar alignment needed for successful plant growth and photovoltaic panel optimization. Residents are organized into three Living Wings on each floor comprised of 10 individual, private bedrooms a piece- each with their own shared kitchen and dining spaces. Community rooms are distributed throughout the project on a floor-by-floor basis. Building Amenity spaces are located on the upper-most level and ground level. The super-structure is proposed to be mass-timber.