15 modern apartments on three floors of structure fill in the loose tooth of the block at an underutilized lot at 531 E Willetta.
The concept creates two buildings with 22 foot wide in-between area that comprises shaded exterior circulation and stairs in this void space. Parking is situated at the back of the property that then folds up underneath the back segment of housing to maximize the use of the site while also providing shade for cars.
The building design passively addresses the extreme sunlight and climate of Phoenix with roof overhangs and balconies that shade the glazing along the south facades. North facing elevations also have overhangs and balconies to define a social connection to the pedestrian character of the neighborhood at sidewalk level. The inner void is shaded with a trellised superstructure to establish naturally ventilated, vertical circulation to upper units. East and West facing facades are primarily solid and provide a thin strip of window at outer units to activate the facade and give a razor thin line of light into and out of the unit.
Landscape is pivotal to the project to enrich the experience of the apartment tenants while also creating a lush, central patio area for social gatherings. Landscape in the space between the two main volumes is planted with desert vines and shrubs that thrive in lower light areas. The historic rhythm, and densely spaced landscape of the neighborhood, is carried across the front of the property and along the right-of-way to provide a seamless thread of pedestrian experience along Willetta Street.