h+uo BLOG

Category: In the Press

New York Times Talks Low Income Housing

Posted in In the Press by Kristie
July 19, 2017

 

A recent story on the front page of the New York Times featured Houston, Texas speaks about how cities decide where affordable housing  SHOULD  go.  It discussed the role of government subsidized housing, neighborhood groups, and politicians have in maintaining our country’s tragic racial and social divides.

 

For h+uo architects this topic hits close to home. Partner, Tom Hatch, has worked closely with John Henneberger and Karen Paup since the late 70’s. The founders of Texas Low Income Housing Information Service (TLIHIS), John and Karen have helped organize most inner-city neighborhoods in Austin and the Valley in the interest of helping local groups find their political strength to create housing for the working poor and those less fortunate.

 

With commonalities to projects Karen, John, and Tom have encountered in the Valley, Houston is facing a great debate on how low income housing effects surrounding areas and if the outcome is as negative as predicted. In h+uo’s experience these well managed housing communities have no negative effect, including not lowering property values.  Houston has a bad habit of supporting affordable housing in very problematic and sometimes poisonous parts of the city, where no one else wants to live.

 

Lakeline Station

 

Two of our more recent known low income projects in Austin are Lakeline Station and Homestead Oaks. Working closely with Foundation Communities, these two projects exemplify what can be done in great neighborhoods where good schools, public transportation, and work opportunities exist for all.  In addition to the family based communities, Foundation Communities includes Learning Centers that provide the best after school activities that nourish the minds and the health of all area children while helping parents whose work schedules do not coincide with school hours.

 

 

Homestead Oaks

 

So, while neighborhood groups in many cities such as Houston are fighting against the Low Income Housing movement, h+uo continues to bat for its growth. Creating needed quality affordable housing in all parts of cities is where our hearts are.

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Preserving At The Groves

July 4, 2014

2013-06-20 Vis-Center_PdKA8t.skp

The first phase of our project is complete at The Groves in Houston. As always, our goal is to preserve as much as possible, and minimize disruption in the environment. Something made easier after the project developer paired with Huffman resident Randy Sullivan.

He is able to put his wood carving hobby to use. His experience in wood work made him the perfect fit to help create reusable items with pieces of wood for the development.

Though removing trees is inevitable, we took conscious efforts to keep as many as possible. The trees we had to remove to clear roadway paths were able to be turned into children’s playground equipment, stepping stones, and beams for the master-planned community.

The Groves is a 993-acre project consisting of 2,200 homes. We are happy to have found a way to preserve and re-purpose on such a unique scale.

 

Link to full story found through LinkedIn by Crescent Communities: LINK FOUND HERE

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M Station Receives Honorable Mention at Urban Land Institute Awards

Posted in Awards, In the Press by Kristie
December 13, 2012

The Austin chapter of the Urban Land Institute recently handed out its first Development of Distinction Awards. Our project, M-Station was honorably mentioned among those in the new development residential category.

To read Austin Business Journal’s full article and to see a slideshow, follow this link. To view site plans, drawings and photographs of M Station, check out our issuu.

About M Station

M Station, a Foundation Communities Project, is a 150-unit affordable apartment community for working families in east Austin. The project site was a concrete operations facility that was virtually covered in concrete ranging in depths of 18″ to 36″. All concrete was processed and re-used as base for both parking and structures. This oblong 8.5 acre piece of land is long and narrow as it is located between a creek on the east and the Capital Metro light rail on the west. A green-built model of eco-friendly, transit-oriented development and affordable housing, M Station includes a childcare center, a Community Learning center with after-school programs and a computer lab open to the neighborhood. Residents also benefit from easy access to the MetroRail transit station, a great neighborhood school just a few blocks away, and the Children’s Museum Workshop and the Sustainable Food Center Kitchen and Gardens being built across the street.

M Station is the first affordable multifamily community located in the MLK transit-oriented district (TOD), the first LEED for Homes multifamily project in Austin, and the first multifamily LEED for Homes Platinum community in Texas. The minimum score for LEED Platinum is 84 points. This project scored 108 points and was awarded the 2012 Austin Apartment Association Property of the Year for Affordable Housing.

The very narrow site and the desire to have as many 3-bedroom units as possible proved to be a challenge. Our solution was to design the buildings with many corner units. This design also created a village feeling among the buildings.

The site was selected because of its proximity to the light rail and the need for affordable housing in this particular part of the Austin. The adjacent creek and the trees added to the appeal of the site. All storm water is either being re-used or mitigated in an innovative way.

This transit-oriented development is adjacent to the Capital Metro Red Line light rail station, offering its residents and patrons transportation to and from downtown and to and from Leander, TX. This, coupled with the many bus lines that serve the site help to promote alternative transportation. Having a school on site also helps to minimize the use of the automobile and the community’s location and proximity to many community centers, creeks, hike and bike trails also adds to M Station’s sustainability and commitment to alternative transportation.

Transforming a concrete processing site into a vital, affordable residential community with a school on site has transformed the area in a very positive way. Many new developments/projects are currently being designed and built in the area due, in part, to the success of M Station.

M Station leased up to 100% occupancy in 4 months and has a year-long waiting list. The on-site Open Door Preschool is fully enrolled and just celebrated their one year anniversary at this location. M Station continues to be the premier example of the “right way” to develop throughout the City and Central Texas region. The property has requests for tours regularly. Everyone from local AIA, USGBC chapters, church groups and international delegations organized by the US Chamber of Commerce have toured to development this year.

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h+uo’s Acton Academy groundbreaking featured in Construction News

Posted in In the Press by Kristie
November 21, 2012

The recent groundbreaking ceremony for Hatch + Ulland Owen’s design of Acton Academy new campus was featured in the November issue of Construction News.

 

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h+uo Barkitecture Submission Featured on Houzz.com

November 15, 2012

Saturday, November 10th, Barkitecture took over the 2nd St. District as people walked the gallery of dog houses along the street. A project of Animal Lovers of Austin, Inc., Barkitecture brings together the city’s best architects and designers to create one of a kind dog houses. These works of art are then sold via silent auction during the event. Proceeds from the event benefit local dog rescue organizations.
h+uo has entered the competition a few times over the years. This year, the idea behind the design was to take the traditional dog house shape and envelope it with a modern and sustainable exterior. The traditional dog house shape can be seen as the “negative” or inside border of the framing. Salvaged Ipe wood (provided by Franklin Alan) was used for the base and as the securing mechanism for the plastic covering. Ipe, which is a very hard wood, required pre-drilling for all screws. The material used for the roofing/wall material is Polygal (purchased at regal Plastics). This material was a bit of a challenge to work with as its rigid nature made bending the materials around the arc of the framing fairly difficult. With a little team work. we were able to fasten it down. We’re pretty thrilled with the result! Special thanks to Bravo Interior Design for their input on the design!

Also of interest! – This year, our design was featured on houzz.com! Click here to read the full article and to see images of other dog house designs that made a splash at this year’s event.

FROM DESIGN TO THE STREET!

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