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tagalong

We are working on a multi-family project with accessibility requirements where the client does not want an apartment typology (that already exists next door, which our project will connect to), but rather more like townhouses. The project budget will not support a plethora of elevators for every second floor unit.

We have come up with a concept allows the ground floor units to have a single car garage, and the second floor units to park in a common 12 car garage and then take a common elevator up to an elevated covered/connect walkway that leads to each of the second floor units. See image for massing diagram.

Our client is intrigued by the idea but wants to know of a precedent project they could look at, and potentially visit, if it is here in the US.

Is anyone familiar with a project that is arranged in a similar manner - connected multi-level townhouse style units with exterior circulation?

Right now I'm pointing to a project like Lake Flato's new Hotel Magdalena, combined with the many townhouse examples out there but they aren't quite "getting it". We are too early in the project, and there has not been enough fee authorized to render it up in VR...

Thanks.

 
Sep 23, 22 5:14 pm
b3tadine[sutures]

Nope.

Sep 23, 22 5:41 pm  · 
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EnigmaticOne

Check out some LOHA or Maltzan projects? We had something very similar on a project that unfortunately got held up with the city but it will also depend on the climate zone for your project. No one wants to talk on an exterior egress path covered in ice.


Sep 23, 22 5:47 pm  · 
1  · 
Non Sequitur

that’s a pretty poor attempt at accessibility. 

Sep 23, 22 6:57 pm  · 
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tagalong

Thanks, I'll take a look. 

Non Sequitur - is it the the yellow color used in the concept massing or that there are no doors into the units shown? Love the critique given the level of detail at this point...

Sep 26, 22 10:47 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

Soooooo many long walkways for a self-described accesible-focused development is the problem... not the rendering medium. Plenty of better ways to organize and condense circulation before considering long-ass exterior corridors.

Sep 26, 22 3:47 pm  · 
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JLC-1

ANY MOTEL 6

Sep 26, 22 3:11 pm  · 
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Why are you trying to get other architects to do the work you've been hired and paid to do?  I assume you've already done your own research but haven't found much?  

Sep 26, 22 4:19 pm  · 
1  · 
Jay1122

So the ground floor is for parking. Second floor is the house. You stick an exterior walkway to the side of the townhouse to provide shared elevator access.

Why do you think you can't find many precedents? Because it is stupid and not efficient. You need internal stairs in the townhouse to ground floor anyway. So you are not saving that space compare to apartment style. The existing typologies exist for a reason.

Now, assuming you are not looking for efficiency and low budget. I would widen the "exterior" walkways and make them into outdoor social gathering areas. Lets call it " floating gardens" Make it nice, sell it as nice spaces, not just corridors on the side of a townhouse.


Sep 26, 22 5:31 pm  · 
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You could separate the units and place the 'elevated gardens' between units. Better yet cluster 3-4 units around the gardens. Still a design with several problems both technical and social.


Sep 26, 22 6:24 pm  · 
1  · 
Non Sequitur

Chad, stop doing this hack’s work. Also, that sketch is so much better than any VR attempt at the OP’s proposal regardless how many shines textures they add.

Sep 26, 22 7:02 pm  · 
 ·  1

Oh that sketch won't work. I can see at least three major issues with it and several social conundrums that would make the project suck.

Also is the OP uses this in any way I will sue the crap out of 'em.  ;P


Sep 27, 22 10:13 am  · 
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x-jla

The porch could be raised earth/backfill with steps between units down to grade…that would give each building a little earth sheltered area for heat exchange….

Sep 27, 22 11:11 am  · 
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You could. Then again the code implications of the crappy sketch I did would needlessly complicate the project. Also the OP wants to have parking on the main level. I really hope the OP uses this sketch as inspiration. They will be in a very rude awakening when they realize how infeasible and costly it is.

Sep 27, 22 11:20 am  · 
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tagalong

Non, did you not receive enough participation trophies as a kid or something? Where is all that inherent hostility coming from?

Sep 28, 22 1:10 am  · 
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tagalong

Chad, the parking would be contained to the ground level of one of the building blocks. The outdoor space framed by the buildings is intended to be a social space with hardscape/landscape, agree it would be unfortunate if that were all parking. Precedents here in the US was all I was asking about.

Sep 28, 22 1:18 am  · 
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tag - you're being paid to do this work correct?

Sep 28, 22 10:15 am  · 
1  · 
Non Sequitur

tag, we're not here to do your work. Perhaps you should inform your client to seek design services elsewhere... preferably with someone who does not attempt to crowd-source mediocre ideas online.

Sep 28, 22 12:01 pm  · 
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tagalong

You guys are really missing the point of this whole thread. The only ask was about familiarity with precedent projects in the US - townhomes with exterior circulation - that's it. No one asked for your critique, sketches, or otherwise.

Sep 28, 22 12:48 pm  · 
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You asked us to do your research for you. Your client hired you to do that. 

As I said above the 'elevated walkway' or 'super porch' concept was tried in the 60's and 70's in the US. It failed miserably. Take a look at crappy motels with elevated walkways for reasons why.

Sep 28, 22 1:09 pm  · 
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A bit of advice tagalong.  If you don't want your work to be critiqued then don't post it. Especially when you're saying how great it is and asking others to do what you've been hired to do.

Your user name is fitting though.  

Sep 28, 22 1:20 pm  · 
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tagalong

Chad, you've found me out - I was hoping to secretly lure another unsuspecting architect into developing this project for me :)

There are a slew of details specific to site/program that bolster the idea - university setting, most often the circulation will be between the units and a larger amenities/student union type of building and only occasional car use for the residents, etc, etc...those just didn't seem relevant to asking if anyone was familiar with a US project with a similar type of formal/circulation setup.

There are precedents all over the UK, I'm just not familiar with any here in the US and our client want's to go take a look a one. 

The expanded walkways is on the right track. University of Arkansas put out a book of student projects a handful of years back with a concept called a "hyper porch" that was doing just that - linking outdoor circulation spaces to create a series of outdoor living rooms for hanging out in an area just outside your home where you have a good chance of seeing your neighbors. 

Ballpark UK examples in their own way:

https://www.archilovers.com/pr...

https://soa.archi/fr/architect...

https://www.behance.net/galler...

https://www.archdaily.com/7790...


Sep 26, 22 7:04 pm  · 
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If you already have case studies then why did you need to ask here? Also the 'super porch' concept isn't anything new. It was tried in the 60's-70's her in the southern US.  It failed miserably. 

Sep 27, 22 10:15 am  · 
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Also - the elevated walkways may be on the right track however you need to realized that in all the case studies you've presented they are over a public open space. Not parking.

Sep 27, 22 11:03 am  · 
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Stasis

Bay Street in Emeryville ?  

It's a mixed use project where retail shops in the front and the parking garage in the back of the ground level.  The upper levels are condos with pockets of gardens, amenities and walkways connecting different wings.   It definitely looks like an apartment, but does include the design elements you mentioned.  Despite the architectural style, this project is considered successful from urban design standpoint.  Good working retail commercial zone with housings on top.   

https://www.zillow.com/b/ave-e...

Sep 26, 22 10:25 pm  · 
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JonathanLivingston

I see many US buildings in that low to midrise category solve this issue with donuts.

Single-loaded circulation like that is expensive and returns very little on the investment which is one of many reasons it would not be built like that in the US. 

Sep 28, 22 1:06 pm  · 
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The Texas Donut. See also Podium Buildings.

Sep 28, 22 1:07 pm  · 
1  · 
JonathanLivingston

But the podium often has the accessibility issue requiring an elevator, the Donut gets your S parking on level with the R use vertical construction separation rather than horizontal.

Sep 28, 22 1:11 pm  · 
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The Texas Donut still requires elevators though. Also the separation differences in podium and donut typologies are surprisingly similar. For example: each typology will require a rated and separated elevator lobby.

I have to assume there are exceptions to this however and in some situations one of the typologies would be 'better'.  


Sep 28, 22 1:16 pm  · 
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JonathanLivingston

Fair enough. You don't think you could provide accessibility through the garage if you aligned the levels properly and had an internal ramping garage? Either way, it's not "single loaded corridors everywhere" and I like eating donuts.

Sep 28, 22 2:01 pm  · 
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Oh I bet you could with the right shaped building! Of course the hard part would be not exceeding the 2% max slope for the ADA path in the parking garage. ::EEEEP::

I'm not sure that would remove the requirement for at least one ADA compliant elevator in a building over three stories though.  

Sep 28, 22 2:05 pm  · 
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