Architect-Driven, Low-Impact Living in Advocate Magazine

Our sustainable, modern homes designed by award-winning architects were featured in a recent Lake Highlands Advocate article. Christina Hughes Babb spoke to developer Diane Cheatham as well as architects Bang Dang and Josh Nimmo about the project. They discuss how design, sustainability and community come together to create a new kind of urban living. Read more in the excerpt below or read the entire story here.

Urban Commons: 82 architect-designed houses made for low-impact neighborhood living

By Christina Hughes Babb. Photography by Jessica Turner 

Architect Bang Dang says a consistent palette of building materials ensures cohesive design throughout the development.

“The front porches are elemental to that sense of community,” he says. Plus they foster an eyes-on-the-street approach to security. [Developer Diane] Cheatham dislikes gates around communities and says the public is welcome to use Urban Commons’ walking path and picnic area.

Dang and business partner Rizwan Faruqui say they rely on research and data to understand what they call the “multiplicities of contemporary life.” For example, their firm has taken note of the growing number of teleworkers. In a three-level model Dang is staging, he created a ground-story office with a desk facing a flushed floor-to-ceiling window.

On Urban Commons’ east end, architect Josh Nimmo is putting last touches on his contributions. Nimmo offers a trio of different three-story floor plans — a pad for bachelors or empty nesters, one for households with families or roommates and another work-from-home layout. All include glass galore overlooking a pond.

Movable storage components in Nimmo’s models can be used to divide space or enlarge rooms. Another interesting touch, Nimmo notes, water in the pond will “reflect the organic silhouette of the homes along its edge.” 

Cheatham says while not everyone recognizes the value of using an architect when designing a home, it makes a difference.

“A person comes here, and maybe they don’t realize what our architects have done with the details,” she says. “But, living here, you feel it.”