Union Studio Architecture & Community Design, Nat Rea (photo)

Edge College Hill

Architecture Firm: DBVW ArchitectsLocation: Providence, RI Category: Commercial Architecture: Multifamily Residential

This is how you reverse Joni Mitchell's famous lyrics: by converting a "paved paradise and put up" a mixed-use gem that adds density to a city center. Recognition of this project is justified for several reasons: the use of the zoning code to allow greater height by trading the rights of an adjacent property emphasizes creative necessity in action.  This "stack trade" makes the project more economically viable while pragmatically preserving open air around the building where the upper level micro-loft apartments feature views of prominent landmarks in Providence, while the two-story tall, slide-stacked, brick panel and glazing design of the building envelope offers enough visual variety to the facade, making the building seem only 8-stories, diminishing the scale of the building, and appearing more street-friendly. Simply put, the design does not appear as a 15-story structure with 5-story neighbors. In addition, by voiding out a prominent corner, this block building becomes directionally focused, enhancing the building by bringing the city into the project.

- Jurors' Comments (AIA Akron, OH)