The Well Village combines health and environmental design in a mixed-use affordable housing project with a commercial kitchen and restaurant space. Unique in housing, The Well Village envisions the combination of senior and family housing with housing for transitional age youth. By weaving together the housing typologies, the project attempts to strengthen the community through inter-generational neighborly support.
The residential health program will include outdoor organic gardening with an adjacent educational community kitchen focused on healthy food alternatives.
Standard building components are envisioned with the dual purpose of promoting health. The exterior corridors are widened to allow for exercise use, the entry lobby and community room are combined with a three-story hanging botanical bio-filter to address indoor air quality within the communal indoor environment.
The use of convection air movement for the interior courtyard envelope has been studied. By opening the East façade to the prevailing breeze (organic roof deck gardens) and varying the size of the residential unit window apertures on the West side of the internal courtyard, natural air convection occurs pulling air through the residential units. On days when breezes are not occurring, the west building is designed to gain heat through a darker paint color. The contrasting colors of the building wings are designed to create a stack effect whereby air movement occurs.
In addition, the connectivity of the health elements to residential daily activities provides suggestive visual engagement. When entering the building lobby a resident sees the exercise room and supportive service offices. When walking to the laundry facilities you pass the outdoor organic gardens and teaching kitchen. In the evening the organic garden space is designed to allow for aisle seating for an outdoor projection rooftop community movie theatre. Lastly, the commercial corner restaurant is a placeholder for a healthful alternative to the standard greasy spoon.
The South façade of the building is sloped to receive solar hot water heater panels to offset gas demand through heat exchange. The building roof is maximized for solar photovoltaic panels. The East facing façade is lined with a combination of tensile fabric and metal (heat sink) gills to screen and absorb solar radiation prior to the façade impact. The gills are also designed to reduce sound from the vehicle traffic on State Street.
The bottom of the three-story hanging botanical bio-filter acts as a subterranean rainwater cistern qualifying for code-required on-site rainwater retention.