City-House, a compact housing prototype

City-House is a multi-family housing prototype that leverages the townhouse typology for its communal and sustainable strategies.  The multi-unit modular housing type provides affordable and compact housing units that are suited to the building fabric of low- to medium- density neighborhoods.

A series of repetitive micro-unit townhouses are aggregated to create efficient systems and a variety of individualized and communal exterior spaces.  By modulating the massing of the two-story townhouse, each unit has two dedicated outdoors paces.  The interweave of these spaces creates the overall identity and articulation of the building facades.

The townhouse typology is leveraged for its sustainable strategies with tenants being able to individually monitor their energy and resources use.  Large glazed opening on either end of the unit bring in ample daylight and cross ventilation over the unit’s shallow footprint.  The pitch-roof massing of the individual units enables each townhouse to have its own photovoltaic array, and the underside of these pitched roofs create a lofted ceiling at the second floor for additional passive ventilation through an operable skylight.

The design of the 635 GSF one bedroom+ units balances standardization for efficiency with opportunities for customization.  By organizing required programmatic needs along a single wall of casework, this “programmatic edge” allows the remainder of the space to be open and ready for changing customization.



(click on the images above for a slideshow view)

project information

RFP Housing Innovation Competition, Garrison Trotter in Boston.  

ARCHITECT: Atelier et Alia.

CLIENT: City of Boston, Department of Neighborhood Development

COLLABORATORS: Johnson Engineering + Design Inc, SunRun Inc