Blocks should be designed with flexibility for future growth, use, and inhabitants. They should anticipate and allow for natural evolution over time, while seeing the present needs of the community.
Understand expansion and growth opportunities
Understand changing use requirements
Analyze local historic towns to understand how they have changed and evolved over time.
Consider solar control methods such as south facing porches and building heights. Understand available energy technology options and apply as appropriate.
Place utilities in a way that doesn’t impede growth.
Design access to allow for different uses and users.
Design service/access area to commercial standards.
Build in future service/trash area for conversion to commercial use.
TWIN LIVE-WORK FORM:
The form above illustrates the flexibility of one meaningful form. This building could function in a variety of ways allowing the owner numerous income-generating options. For instance, the center passage allows for carriage house units behind to still have a formal entry from the street. The ground level could serve as a home office, a small retail space, or even a studio apartment which defrays the cost of the residence above.
Design each building site keeping in mind future growth options as the occupants needs evolve. For instance, this site could start out with a townhouse alone that is surfaced parked. An addition is built to the back of the townhouse as a family grows. Lastly, a carriage house is added allowing for a workshop, studio, or a living space above a garage potentially generating a secondary source of income for the owner. By understanding the growth pattern of a site, the building can be designed in such a way that it can function flexibly throughout its lifespan.
Smaller units can be incorporated into a block to meet the needs of a variety of occupants. These units can serve as simply affordable rental units above a garage, or achieve more complex requirements such as a fully functional workshop, gallery, or office space. The real beauty of these units is that they allow for a variety of people and businesses to integrate seamlessly into a block. This adds value to the block design while creating a real, functional place.