KXAN covered Bluebonnet Studios today http://kxan.com/2016/08/30/new-austin-affordable-housing-nearing-completion/ We’re proud to be part of an affordable housing solution for the city with Dick Clark and Associates and Foundation Communities.
“Foundation Communities is putting the finishing touches on the 107 units on South Lamar Boulevard. The apartments will be available for those earning less than $27,000 per year. City planners say this is a perfect example of the type of apartments needed since it’s close to a bus line, and someone can bike, or walk to everything from grocery stores to work.”
Under the International Building Code an efficiency must have 220 square feet of living area plus additional space for a bathroom, making the minimum feasible size of a micro unit approximately 250 square feet. Meanwhile, national averages hover around 350 square feet. So, what actually is a micro unit?
Local density, demographics, context, mobility, and the economic goals of a project all play a role in determining a micro unit’s footprint. In our south Austin affordable housing complex, Bluebonnet Studios (left), the efficiencies are 440 square feet, but in our east Austin condo project, Fourth& (right), the micro-lofts are an aptly-sized 512 square feet. In other words, there is no rigid definition of what makes a micro-unit micro. Smaller isn’t always cuter, and bigger isn’t always better; we prefer to say, “Less is more… more or less.”
In the ‘Amenity’ section of the Forge Craft Architecture + Design Field Guide to Micro Units, we take a look at how the development industry defines ‘amenity’ and how that definition changes in the context of a micro-unit building.
Our office’s latest micro-loft project, Fourth&(Austin), champions the motto “small footprint, full life.” By reallocating unit program to a common space, the design team introduces new possibilities for communal activity. The amenity, then, is neither the micro unit’s living room nor the building’s lounge but rather the city at large. With 78702’s accessible transit network and vibrant restaurants and retail, everything there is to love about East Austin is just outside the residents’ doors.
To read more about Fourth&, check out their official website and the Austin Business Journal. Stay tuned for construction updates and photos!
This week’s installment of Micro Monday focuses on a micro unit project’s context.
Forge Craft Architecture + Design recently broke ground on Bluebonnet Studios, a Foundation Communities micro-unit complex at Bluebonnet and South Lamar. Today “SoLa” consists mostly of surface parking lots, deep setbacks, and eclectic buildings. During the schematic design phase of Bluebonnet Studios, we sought to tie the street’s many odds-and-ends together into a single monolithic form. The faceted facade provides a certain softness, while the colorful windows add a punch of local attitude. To encourage pedestrian activity, landscape architecture office NDLI populated the front yard with shade trees, whimsical planters, and wooden benches.
Bluebonnet Studios is scheduled to open in late 2016. It will be home to 107 single adults, including low-wage workers, formerly homeless individuals, veterans, seniors and individuals with disabilities. You can read more about Bluebonnet Studios in the Projects section of our website. To keep up with construction progress, follow our updates on Facebook!
PARK(ing) Day is a annual open-source global event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into “PARK(ing)” spaces: temporary public places. The project began in 2005 when Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio, converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in downtown San Francisco. Since 2005, PARK(ing) Day has evolved into a global movement, with organizations and individuals (operating independently of Rebar but following an established set of guidelines) creating new forms of temporary public space in urban contexts around the world.
At 325 square feet, a parking space is not only big enough to house a pocket park, but it is also comparable in size to a micro unit. Our latest installment of Micro Monday explores the size, cost, and utility of parking spaces in micro-unit communities.
Cheers to Asakura Robinson, dwg., TBG Partners, Landscape Forms, Michael Hsu Office of Architecture, Texas ASLA, AIA Design Voice, and Bury, Inc., who participated in this year’s (PARK)ing Day in Austin!
In this week’s release of the Forge Craft Architecture + Design Field Guide to Micro Units, we discuss who exactly is interested in micro-unit living. Although micro-units may appear to be only for the millennials or those still accustomed to living with roommates, micro-units actually appeal to all age groups, with nearly 20% interest from those 65 years and older – fascinating!
In the introduction to the Forge Craft Architecture + Design Field Guide to Micro Units, we began to discuss some of the lessons learned from our experience with miniature dwellings.
The first spread, “[Under] the Microscope” features a schematic rendering of the micro units in Fourth&, a new live/work condominium in East Austin. In the mockup, we utilize built-in storage and multipurpose furniture to divide the loft and provide it with multiple uses. How can micro units use space efficiently?
The second spread, “Demand,” quantifies Austin’s increasing population and confronts the affordability issue that many local residents face. How can micro units help solve the problem of Missing Middle Housing?
Stay tuned for more Monday installments of our Field Guide to Micro Units! In the meantime, please visit www.fourthandaustin.com for more information on Austin’s only micro-loft condominium.
Forge Craft is happy to announce our up-and-coming weekly series appropriately titled “Micro Monday”. Each Monday, we’ll be releasing information related to micro-units and small living here in Austin. We hope you’re just as excited as we are! Below is a sneak peak of FCAD’s recent white paper, Field Guide to Micro Units.
Forge Craft’s newest mixed-used project on Austin’s east side was finally unveiled yesterday by Rance Clouse of Capsa Ventures, LLC. In this week’s Austin Business Journal, the project was not only made public to the city and it’s residents but was given a formal title: Fourth & – as the project is located at 4th Street and Chicon.
The 130,000 SF residential condo and commercial project is slated to have 97 living units and 42,000 SF of leasable business space. The project is expected to be completed in Fall 2016. For more information, or to sign up for future updates and leasing procedures, please visit www.fourthandaustin.com