In July, Sharon Lee and Housing Developer John Torrence, along with Joe Gruber of the University Food Bank (UFB), attended the Affordable Housing Design Leadership Institute (AHDLI) at the Parsons New School for Design in New York. The conference was sponsored by Enterprise Community Partners, and had seven teams from throughout the US presenting affordable housing projects of different sizes and scopes.
The LIHI and UFB team attended the conference to present the upcoming University Commons project. The University Commons project is a collaboration between LIHI and UFB to provide 40 to 50 units of affordable housing for homeless street youth and youths in danger of becoming homeless (18-25), along with a new location for the University Food Bank. The property at 5017 Roosevelt Way NE in Seattle's U-District will have the new food bank on the first floor with 3 floors of housing above and a green roof.
The project was presented as part of a 2 day design charrette that involved a panel of design experts. A design charrette is an intensive process where developers present a concept or project to a group of designers, who then discuss the project and work with the developer to decide what works and doesn't work in an effort to make a better project. The design panel included such design heavyweights as Adele Naude Santos from MIT, William Morrish of Parsons The New School for Design, and Bryan Bell of the Public Interest Design Institute, to name a few.
Sharon presented the project for the group and the feedback provided by the design panel and other developers gave the project many useful suggestions that LIHI was able to bring back to the project architect, Runberg Architecture Group, to use in making the project even better for our future tenants.