Friday, September 30, 2011

via verde grows sustainable architecture's reach

[Image from The New York Times]

 Via Verde looks more like luxury condo building than a subsidized apartment complex. It has the amenities of a luxury building too- fitness room with a view, lush gardens, tons of natural light.

But it started where community design should- by asking the neighborhood what they wanted. The answer: a healthy place to live.

By increasing building costs only 5%, Via Verde has green design as its core of the 71 co-ops and 151 rental apartments along with commercial space that includes a medical clinic. The building is designed to get residents into the outdoors and to promote growing the healthy foods the neighborhood lacks. Via Verde now has over six times the applicants that it has space for, a testament to the need for this type of development.

From NY Times:
"The greenest and most economical architecture is ultimately the architecture that is preserved because it’s cherished. Bad designs, demolished after 20 years, as so many ill-conceived housing projects have been, are the costliest propositions in the end. 

Of course a building consists of more than its skin and the claims of its makers. Its aesthetics remain inseparable from its function. It has to work, for the people who use it and live with it, not just see it. The real test for Via Verde — watch this space — will be once its residents have settled in, to see how green and healthy and gracious they actually find it."

Originally found on The New York Times.

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