Casitas de Colores: Active Design

Casitas de Colores

The Center for Active Design: Excellence award winning project Casitas de Colores is designed to inspire an active lifestyle for families, promote community, and encourage healthy daily habits. The design of the multifamily housing complex plays an important part in improving health and wellness of residents.

A major active design feature of Casitas de Colores is its walkability. As part of Albuquerque's Downtown 2025 Sector Development Plan, Casitas de Colores prioritizes developments designed in accordance with the "park once" concept that encourages activity through walking, rather than driving, to destinations. With a rating of 94/100, the mixed-income, multifamily apartment complex is within walking distance of entertainment, shopping, public transportation, schools, employment, and other downtown amenities.

To create a secure, active environment the apartment buildings are configured around interior courtyards with play equipment, barbeque grills, and outdoor seating. These gated courtyards define resident community areas and promote recreation and community action. Walkways provide daylight, visibility, and views in outdoor spaces. Indoors, apartment units have windows facing the courtyard edge and patios/balconies facing the street edge to connect residents with the Casitas de Colores community and the downtown neighborhood beyond.

Designed to maximize use of the site for livable and community space, sustainable aspects are incorporated into typically underutilized spaces. Photovoltaic arrays on the rooftop, for instance, lower utility bills while underground cisterns store rainfall for irrigation. Tuck-under parking and bicycle storage also make more space by clearing Casitas de Colores' private drives for community events.

By creating an intentional sense of place, Casitas de Colores has established an identity for urban affordable housing in downtown Albuquerque, NM - prioritizing community and active lifestyles.

Download the Lender's Package to learn more about the Casitas de Colores design concepts.

Author: Dekker/Perich/Sabatini
Type: PDF

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