Design Advice has been offered to Hacker architects for the Division 28 Homes, a 10-unit co-housing development proposed in the Richmond neighborhood. Urban Development Partners is acting as the owner’s representative. The project is being developed for one extended family, with members of varying ages, with the intention that family members are able to age in place. At the ground level the building would also include retail space and a restaurant with outdoor seating. 16 vehicular parking spaces are proposed in a below-grade garage.
The 15,200 sq ft site is at the corner of SE 28th Pl and Division St. The site previously housed two single family houses and two commercial buildings, one of which housed Clay’s Smokehouse until it closed in 2018. The structures have now been demolished.
In addition to the commercial spaces, the building would include three residential units at the ground floor; four units at the second floor; and three units at the third floor. The fourth floor would be shared common space.
The mass of the four story building is eroded along the SE Division frontage by a series of outdoor terraces, placed over the roof of the unit below. Trellises on the roof terraces would be planted with twining evergreen vines.
The primary material proposed is a terracotta panel system, with a fluted surface texture. Other materials proposed include steel guardrails, metal screens and glass.
The Division 28 Homes went in front of the Design Commission for design advice on August 15th, 2019. A staff memo, published before the advisory meeting, outlined areas for discussion. These included: the massing of the building, and whether it was eroded too much; the choice of materials; and the fact that the ground floor commercial space is pulled back from the street corner.
The project was generally very well received by the Design Commission, who however noted that the project still needed work to meet the design review guidelines. During the meeting Commission Chair Livingston offered her thoughts:
It’s absolutely thrilling when an applicant brings in really nice architecture. It’s a treat to review materials in advance; it’s great to have a conversation about it here in the hearings room. And this is really lovely architecture.
As strong as this building is, really good design is not a hall pass on a public realm response. This building’s response to public realm guidelines is pretty weak. There’s got to be a way to integrate public benefit into really good design, and weather protection is a really good way to do that. Where a building meets the street there should be some amount of weather protection. There needs to be some amount of outdoor space that isn’t privatized, even if it’s just a place to sit on a landscape wall and wait for the bus.
In order to gain approval the project will be required to go through a Type III Design Review, with public hearings in front of the Design Commission.