Previously featured on Archinnovations.com , Irvington Terrace, a 100-unit low-income housing complex in Fremont, CA, designed by MVE & Partners, has won a prestigious 2009 AIA/HUD Secretary Award for Excellence in Affordable Housing Design. The honor will be presented at the AIA 2009 National Convention and Design Exposition in San Francisco, on May 1.
The Secretary Award is determined jointly by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Housing and Custom Residential Knowledge Community and the Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Only four projects are honored in this very competitive, national awards program.
The award recognizes “excellence in affordable housing architecture, neighborhood and participatory design, and accessibility.” AIA/HUD chooses the award projects to provide exemplary benchmarks to the industry.
“We are extremely gratified at this joint industry and official recognition of the merits of Irvington Terrace,” said Ernesto Vasquez, AIA, Vice President and Partner of California-based MVE & Partners. “Even more importantly, we take pride in knowing that Irvington Terrace will provide enjoyable and useful housing to the residents of Fremont for generations to come.”
Irvington Terrace demonstrates that affordable, attractive and functional communities can avoid the monumental austerity of unsuccessful past designs in Modernist affordable housing, or a stigma-producer lesser design quality of many affordable apartment complexes. “Good design is a cornerstone of thriving homes and communities of all incomes and backgrounds,” stated officials from the AIA/HUD program. “These awards demonstrate that design matters.”
A modern interpretation of the California Mission-style, the complex is designed to blend seamlessly into its market-rate neighbors, so is rendered in earth-tone colors, and features articulated entryways, rectangular massings and landscaped interior courtyards with trellises and playgrounds that evoke a traditional village square. Perimeter apartments feature townhome-style stoops, porches and balconies that face surrounding streets—thus addressing the neighborhood, and enhancing a sense of community.
The 108,000-square-foot complex has 25 one-bedroom units, 35 two-bedroom units and 40 three-bedroom units, podium-style atop underground garage parking. The apartments form the affordable component of the larger, market-rate 8.6-acre Irvington Village, yet are largely equal in terms of construction quality and appearance. The $31.8-million Irvington Terrace, close to urban amenities, was commissioned by BRIDGE Housing Corp., a leading nonprofit developer of affordable housing in California.
Irvington Terrace is the latest success for MVE & Partners and BRIDGE Housing, partners since 1993. The team has created many affordable neighborhoods for California residents, which include San Pablo in Irvine, Ohlone Court in San Jose, Peninsula Park in East Palo Alto, Santa Alicia in Irvine and Terracotta in San Marcos. The compelling architecture of Irvington Terrace—a contemporary take on the California Mission style of Irving Gill—and the project’s merits have also earned it two awards each from the National Association of Homebuilders and the Pacific Coast Builders Conference
MVE & Partners is a national architecture, planning and interiors firm with a portfolio spanning more than 30 years. MVE’s design and delivery services include the creation of residential, commercial, mixed-use, hospitality, retail, transit, interior and planning solutions from offices in Irvine and Oakland, CA, and in Honolulu, HI. Educational and civic projects are completed by MVE Institutional, an affiliated company. MVE & Partners bridges forward-thinking design initiatives, such as sustainability, smart-growth and urbanization to the timely completion of projects. While design diversity is the cornerstone of the firm, the defining approach is the creation of meaningful, attractive environments that enhance community and quality of life.