Project
INSIDE OUT / OUTSIDE IN Option Studio

Urban multigenerational housing is in scarce supply, and a resilient building must be able to accommodate flexible family structures as they grow and shrink over time. This project, sited in the Jeffries Point neighborhood of East Boston, provides units designed to be reconfigured. The building is located on a corner lot near the main commercial street of Jeffries Point, a few blocks away from the waterfront and a community garden. The ground floor includes a futsal court, offering a public amenity to activate the street level and provide space for recreation and community-building. The northern portion of the site is dedicated public green space. The top five floors are residential, with four towers linked together by circulation bridges.

Residents can access upper floors via two ground-level vestibules. In the default unit configuration, the central two towers contain 3- or 4-bedroom family apartments, while the two perimeter towers house co-living suites with two bedrooms. The first residential floor is the exception, including four studio apartments in addition to two family units. The top of the gym serves as a common roof deck for all residents, providing small vegetable gardens, seating areas, and outdoor grilling spaces. Areas of the roof deck are linked with passageways that bisect the central towers. The bridges between towers act as outdoor terraces for each unit, and cascading stairs link these bridges to the roof deck while providing a second means of egress. Every unit receives natural light on four sides and has access to a semi-private terrace, with some units also having private balconies. Bridges are staggered to maintain light and air porosity in the interstitial courtyards.

Reconfigurability of the units is the primary organizational driver of the project. Bridges between paired towers act both as circulation routes from the cores and as connection points between the units themselves. If a family needs to accommodate an aging family member or adult child, one of the bedrooms from the co-living unit can be attached to the family unit; the only necessary physical modification of space involves sealing off one door while opening another. The remainder of the co-living area then converts into a self-contained one-bedroom unit. If urban density increases, paired towers can be further subdivided to provide 6- or 7-bedroom co-living suites. Likewise, if urban density decreases, floors from paired towers can be joined into an extra-large apartment. There are many other potential unit configurations, dependent upon family structures and other sociocultural factors.

The project is taller than most surrounding buildings, but its siting at the peak of a hill allows the futsal court to be partially sunk below-grade, helping to mitigate the height difference without significant flood risk. The building also speaks a similar language to its context; the towers extend out beyond the base, mimicking the rhythm of the nearby triple deckers and their bays.