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We are excited to announce that 18 families have now moved into their new homes at Tangelo Quarters! This our most recent multifamily development in partnership with the Community Development Corporation of Brownsville and the Housing Authority of Brownsville. All families living at Tangelo Quarters will enjoy a range of community amenities, such as a playground area, barbecue pavilions, and a community garden all connected by accessible routes strategically placed throughout the property.
The site is located in the Southmost area of Brownsville, a neighborhood that has historically had to deal with flooding issues due to inadequate infrastructure. With this context in mind, we designed native landscape and LID (low-impact development) infrastructure to help with drainage. As families get settled in and the vegetation starts to bloom, we expect Tangelo Quarters will set a precedent for approaching new healthy thriving communities in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
Last month, the Housing Authority of the City of Brownsville hosted a Ribbon Cutting ceremony to commemorate the opening. During the event, every family received the opportunity to cut the ribbon of their new home. There was also live music and food to celebrate the families and all the collaborators that made this project possible. It was a great event -- and we were happy to be in attendance to help welcome new residents home to Tangelo Quarters!
Scroll through the photos below to check out the site and see some of its residents.
Read our earlier post from Tangelo Quarters construction.
We are excited to announce that in partnership with the Community Development Corporation of Brownsville (CDCB) we have designed a new multifamily development in the city of Santa Rosa, TX. The project consists of 50 detached single-family dwellings and also includes a community room, office, laundry room, playground area and barbecue pavilions as site amenities.
This large development, called Casitas Azucar, will significantly increase the share of affordable rental housing in Santa Rosa -- a rural community with just under 3,000 residents.
The design concept was driven by Santa Rosa’s rural environment and its historic, industrial buildings. Each unit type in the development follows a simple scheme which gave our design team the opportunity to focus on the creation and articulation of green space -- a key ingredient to healthy communities.
We increased green space per family through strategic placement of each unit and the use of modular arbor structures which were articulated to enhance the garden and patio space for each habitant. By treating every unit type uniquely to its location in the site, we were able to highlight green space and create a cohesive design that carries throughout the patio spaces. These strategies result in green spaces full of trees which are used as an extension of the family’s home, representing a continuation of each dwelling’s interior living space.
When families and individuals can spend time at home comfortably both indoors and outdoors, their quality of life stands to improve. Ultimately, our goal for Casitas Azucar is to increase the opportunity for community by addressing public and private green spaces -- to give everyone the opportunity to enjoy them how they wish. Stay tuned for more updates from this exciting development!
Tangelo Quarters, a housing development comprised of 18 single-family units, is currently under construction. Framing for the first five units has begun, and foundations for four others have been poured.
When complete, Tangelo Quarters will provide affordable, contextually-appropriate housing for 18 families in Brownsville, TX. The site will feature a range of community amenities, such as a community garden, for residents to enjoy together. The project meets density goals while preserving individual identities of homes and fitting in with the existing neighborhood.
We look forward to continuing work with our partners on this project, the Community Development Corporation of Brownsville (CDCB) and the Housing Authority of the City of Brownsville (HACB) and to seeing the project's completion in 2019.
On September 4, the City of Houston Housing and Community Development Department broke ground on 8 homes in the Acres Homes neighborhood that were designed by [bc] as part of the New Home Development Program. Drawing from the engagement done as a part of the City of Houston's Disaster Recovery Round 2, the designs were updated to improve resiliency and accessibility. [bc] staff were in attendance for the event, in addition to Mayor Sylvester Turner and representatives from HCDD.
Check out our photos from the event below!
sustainABLEhouse utilizes design as a tool to address issues of equity within the Lower Rio Grande Valley by providing affordable single-family housing that is durable, efficient, contextually appropriate, and community & resident informed.
The sustainABLEhouse design process is broken down into simple steps so that a family can confidently make decisions about their home. The design of each home begins with a family filling out a Design Starts Here homework booklet. The simple questions in the homework helps a family think about the factors that will go into the design of their home. [bc] staff meet the family at their property and together measure the property to fully understand how to work with existing infrastructure, trees, and other important factors. This interactive early step helps to build trust between [bc] and the family, an important part of the sustainABLEhouse process.
Since beginning sustainABLEhouse in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in late 2012, [bc] has worked with Community Development Corporation of Brownsville to build homes with 63 families. Each of the families designed their home via a custom design process, or via a customizable catalog process. You can watch a short film documenting our process here!
sustainABLEhouse has fit into four different funding programs and sources in the LRGV. Three of these programs are administered by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) - Colonia Self Help Center, HOME Homeowner Rehabilitation Assistance, HOME Persons With Disability, and the City of Brownsville’s HOME Homeowner Rehabilitation Assistance program.
sustainABLEhouse acts on the belief that choice empowers, and a home designed by the family that lives in it will work better for that family, and help to maintain and build viable neighborhoods.
Thank you to everyone who attended the Association for Community Design annual conference in June. ACD40’s theme, CommUNITY, sought to ignite conversations about the different models of practice that the field of community-engaged design uses to operate successfully. We envisioned a conference that would connect people from across the country who are working in and around public interest practices.
You can read our ACD40 Conference Report here. It contains a recap of the schedule, speakers, and sessions. It also includes results to the ACD40 Post-Conference Survey, the ACD 2017 Questionnaire, the Fellowship Survey, the Gender Equity Survey, and the Community Design Survey.
A big thank you to all of our funders, partners and supporters that made this conference possible:
Funders - Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. & Surdna Foundation
Supporters - UT Arlington, College of Architecture, Planning, and Public Affairs, Mallory Baches, Jessica Blanch, Thor Erickson, Gilad Meron, Nikia Hill, Theresa Hwang, Mark Matel, Kevin Singh, Edward Orlowski, Stephen Goldsmith, & Alex Salazar
Venues - AIA Dallas / Dallas Center for Architecture, CallisonRTKL, Dallas Public Library, HKS, & Thanksgiving Square
Promotional Partners - AIA Austin, AIA Dallas / Dallas Center for Architecture, APA North Texas Chapter, LRGV AIA, SMU Design Council, & USGBC Texas
Volunteers - Bi’Anncha Andrews, Farida Rafique, Hannah Plate, Shani Dixon, Victoria Brown, [bc] Staff & Fellows, & Neighborhood Design Center
Luis Murillo is a bcFELLOW at buildingcommunityWORKSHOP. He works on sustainABLEhouse and low impact development projects in the Rio Grande Valley. As a Brownsville native, Luis has personally experienced the multifaceted issues that the community faces. Through the implementation of new ideas and thoughtful design he works to solve environmental and social issues in the community. He aspires to make an impact and create positive change in the RGV.
Luis began his architectural studies at the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from Texas Tech University College of Architecture and gained experience in building code analysis through interning for the City of Lubbock Building Inspections Department.