AIA NC ACTIVATE Announces “Missing Middle” Housing Competition Winners to Address Housing Crisis in Asheville
Asheville, NC – Activate NC’s announced the winners for its international “Missing Middle” Housing Competition on Friday November 10, 2017. The competition’s goal is to provide housing ideas to the city of Asheville that would both fit appropriately within single family neighborhoods while providing greater density and affordability in Asheville’s urban core. The site chosen for the competition is within walking distance of the emerging River Arts District, and is edged on one side by a tract of city owned land known as Murray Hill Park. Consideration for it’s location along with the topography of the land were major factors in the selection of the piece for the competition as well as for the jurying.
Four projects were chosen for awards. A Honor Award was given to “River Arts Row”; a Merit Award was given to “District Village”; a Merit Award was given to “Bartlett Commons”; and a Citation was given to “Artist’s Court”.
The jury, lead by jury chair Doug Hecker from Hecker Studio in Asheville, judged the entries based on criteria which included site sensitivity, topography, and space, form and materials. Hecker was joined on the jury by Amanda Loper from David Baker Architects in San Francisco, and Sasha Vrtunski with the City of Asheville. Overall, the jury noted that the projects were able to highlight some of the challenges of building denser communities in challenging landscapes.
River Arts Row
Team: William Lambeth, David Hammer, and Emily Axtman
Jury Comments: This project hit on all of the criteria from the competition. There is clustering, and shared wall construction and a desire to reduce the impact of cars in the neighborhood. It had an innovative narrative regarding construction with Cross Laminated Timbers (CLT), and suggested efficiencies with its use of land and materials.
Jury Comments; We liked the density of this project, and how they nestled an extra unit under larger units, integrating the hill side into the design. The way the park areas were integrated into and on top of existing structures was visionary, as well as the engagement the plan had with the edges of the lot.
Team: John Sunwoo, Christina Attiyeh, Daniel Lin, Peter Miller, Aditi Shetye, & Jeff Wandersman
Jury Comments; This project used the topography in a pragmatic yet organic way. The architectural expression feels fresh and new yet connected to the vernacular of the landscape and works with the topography. It also explores communal spaces in a more realistic way than other schemes we saw.
Jury Comments: This project really focuses on defining the park and making a new amenity for the city. We thought the site place for this entry was one of the most important aspects of the project. The spacing between buildings felt welcoming, and allowed for the integration of public spaces within the community. It was able to pull people through the grounds with its programmatic idea of a sculpture park.
Activate North Carolina is a program of the American Institute of Architects North Carolina. It supports architects, designers, and citizens who want to start dialogues and projects that improve NC’s cities and neighborhoods.